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Bridge in Paradise: by Neil Robinson

Defence is the most difficult part of bridge. So here is a puzzle for you on defence. Imagine you are sitting East. South dealt and both sides were vulnerable. This was the bidding:

Your partner leads the queen of diamonds and you see the hands below. Your partner made a good lead. The queen wins and the jack is led to the second trick. You overtake and win the ace and king, with everyone following. Now comes the key decision—what do you lead to the fourth trick to get the contract down?

Declarer must hold almost all the remaining high card points which you cannot see, or would not have had an opening bid. Your partner probably has almost nothing. So your best chance seems to be to try and make a trump trick. To do this, lead the fourth diamond. If declarer discards from hand and ruffs on board, then your jack of spades will set up as a winning trump. If declarer ruffs in hand, then maybe your partner has the ten and can over ruff. The full hands are shown below. Unfortunately declarer has the ten of spades and can ruff with it. However, your partner gets to make the killing discard, a low heart. Now, declarer cannot clear the high hearts from hand before crossing to board with high trumps, because partner will ruff the second round. Alternatively, if declarer pulls trumps first, he has no way back to the board to use the good hearts there, and you must win a club trick. Contract down. The full deal is shown below:

I would like to hear from readers about their favourite hands—please do contact me at [email protected] Bridge Club of Chiang Mai welcomes all players. We have members from seventeen different countries already. For information on the Club go to the web site

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Bridge in Paradise