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Exit cards (Le Bridgeur Magazine No.907)

Article written by Jérôme Rombaut
and published in the French magazine Le Bridgeur No.907 (January/February 2017)

Challenges are one of my favourite game modes on Funbridge. The format is quite simple: you challenge a player on 5 deals with IMP scoring. What is special about it is that you see the results while playing, so you can check the latest score, which allows you to adapt your strategy accordingly.

My friend Philippe Molina (aka “Moli”) recently suggested a new way of playing our challenges: playing in NT. This is the reason why we played 3NT instead of 4♠ here:

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

Lead: diamond 5 to East’s Queen.

After the diamond lead, you have 7 tricks. To make your contract, you need to get off to the right start in Spades to catch the possible Jack-fourth, which will increase your number of tricks to 8. The ninth one will come from either a good club split (3-3) or the heart King onside (in West). Let’s start by handling Spades properly. West is assumed to be longer in Diamonds and thus shorter in Spades. Start with the King (in case you could see a void), then a Spade to the Ace. Here Spades split 3-2, so you cash 4 tricks. At this stage, I was hoping that the heart King will be onside and therefore returned a Heart to my Queen. The good news is that the King was indeed onside! But the bad news is that West cashed four Diamonds.

It was all the more disappointing since I found out that Philippe made his contract! Here is the full deal. Will you be able to find the winning solution?

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

Philippe took the diamond lead, played four rounds of Spades like me but then he cleverly drew two rounds of Clubs to eliminate exit cards in West before playing Diamonds. West cashed 4 diamond tricks but was then obliged to underplay his heart King…

This way, you take the same 9 tricks but you prevent your opponent from taking 5 others beforehand! Congrats to Moli!

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[…] Exit cards : “Challenges are one of my favourite game modes on Funbridge. The format is quite simple: you challenge a player on 5 deals with IMP scoring. What is special about it is that you see the results while playing, so you can check the latest score, which allows you to adapt your strategy accordingly.” Read article […]

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