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Red or Black (Le Bridgeur Magazine n°901)

Article written by Jérôme Rombaut and published in the French magazine Le Bridgeur n°901 (January/February 2016)

Following the last article, here is another defence problem from the same France vs Sweden match as part of the France Open Team selection process for the European Teams Championships.

You are still East and the bidding proceeds as follows:

South North

Dummy spreads his hand:

S Q 7 4 
H 10 7 5
D K J 10 8 6
S J 9 5 
H Q 6 3 2
D Q 7 4 
C A J 7

Your partner leads club 6 to the queen, your ace and declarer’s 8. What do you play next?

To solve this problem, it is essential to analyse potential holdings in the lead suit. Can lead come from a 6-card suit?

With the 10, you would lead fourth best, but with 9 6 5 4 3 2, the technical card is 6. In that case, if you then play the club jack, declarer will have to find the diamond queen to make his contract.

An alternative would be to play hearts, hoping that partner holds ace-jack fourth, in which case declarer would open with 14 points (nothing is impossible nowadays).

That is precisely what happened here. South had cleverly hidden his club 2 and had opened 1NT with 14 points only (and a nice 5-card major).

The heart return would have doomed declarer to failure. Indeed, partner holding A J 9 8, you would have immediately taken 4 tricks on top of the club ace.

I think that if declarer had dropped another card, it would have been normal to play hearts but here the best chance to defeat the contract seemed to find six clubs in partner’s hand and take a trick with the diamond queen.

In fact, no French defender at the tables managed to defeat this 3NT contract.

The full deal was:

S Q 7 4
H 10 7 5
D K J 10 8 6
S 8 2
H A J 9 8
D 5 3
C 9 6 5 4 3
S J 9 5
H Q 6 3 2
D Q 7 4
C A J 7
S A K 10 6 3
H K 4
D A 9 2
C 10 8 2


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roberta ann

with all the new stuff I have lost my favorite— funbridge two—can I get it back ??? Please help– thank you— Roberta


Bridge is often reduced to a guess. Strive for some thread of logic.