Saturday, October 24, 2009

Case by case

The International Bridge Press Association, known by the acronym IBPA, has interesting deals that are included in its monthly newsletter. They are created by Australian, Tim Bourke. Below is one in which you are the declarer in 4. Go ahead and look at all four hands:

K 5 2
7 6 4 3
10 9 4
Q 5 2
Q J 10 7 9 8 6 4 3
10 2 5
Q 7 3 A 8 6 5
J 9 8 3 K 7 4
A K Q J 9 8
K J 2
A 10 6

West leads the Q. How do you plan to take 10 tricks? It would be easy if you could get to the K in dummy, but notice the heart spots. Your lowest one is the 8.

After drawing trumps, you should advance the K.

Case I: If East takes it and returns a diamond, you play the jack. If West takes that, the 10 is an entry to dummy (and you have a discard on the K). The situation is no better for West if he lets the J hold. If so, you can lead a third round of diamonds, and whoever wins will have to lead a club. If West, you make certain of two clubs tricks by playing low from dummy when he makes the forced shift to that suit. Notice that a spade lead is immediately fatal, and a diamond shift gives a ruff-sluff.

Case II: What happens if West had the A? If he takes the K and exits with a low diamond, then either dummy's 9 will hold or East will take it with the queen (and you unblock the jack).

Case III: What happens if the K holds? To counter that, just continue diamonds, and the defense can do no better than cash its two diamond tricks. If West wins, the play follows as described above. If East wins the second diamond trick and exits with a low club, you will let that ride to dummy, making certain of a second club trick.

This deal is over. Next case.


  1. Methinks one needs a PhD in logic and mathematics to figure all this out!

  2. @Jacob: haha, yeah bridge is not an easy game when played on a high level.