If you have ever wondered what it is like to play in a world championship, you are about to find out. The 10 hands shown here were taken from the 1977 Bermuda Bowl, which was played in Manila and won by a U.S. team that included the author. Only a few changes have been made for the convenience of the reader. The hands are difficult, but this has been taken into account in the awarding of points. Score from 170-130 and you should have been in the championships. From 125-100, maybe you will next year. From 95-80, perhaps in a few years. From 75-40, the next decade. Fewer than that, why not take up gin rummy? For answers see page 116.

1 CONTRACT: 4H West has bid one spade and rebid two diamonds after East responded one no trump. West leads the spade ace. East playing the three, and continues with the six. Assume you, as South, choose dummy's king and the queen drops. For 10 points, how do you continue?

NORTH

[King of Spades]
[Jack of Spades]
[10 of Spades]
[Queen of Hearts]
[10 of Hearts]
[8 of Hearts]
[6 of Hearts]
[Queen of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]

SOUTH

[9 of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[King of Hearts]
[9 of Hearts]
[5 of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[King of Clubs]
[10 of Clubs]
[6 of Clubs]
[7 of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]

2 CONTRACT: 4S West, that's you this time, opens one diamond. North overcalls two clubs and partner doubles, a negative double showing seven or more high-card points with support for the unbid suits. You lead the king of diamonds, partner playing the three, declarer the six. For 10 points, how do you set the hand?

NORTH

[Ace of Spades]
[9 of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[Queen of Hearts]
[7 of Hearts]
[2 of Hearts]
[Ace of Clubs]
[King of Clubs]
[Jack of Clubs]
[6 of Clubs]
[4 of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs]
[2 of Diamonds]

WEST

[6 of Spades]
[King of Hearts]
[Jack of Hearts]
[8 of Hearts]
[10 of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[5 of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[King of Diamonds]
[10 of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[7 of Diamonds]

3 CONTRACT: 4S South opens one spade, you stick in a three-club overcall. North says three spades, partner four clubs. South four spades. You lead the heart two, dummy wins, partner playing the seven. The spade two is led from dummy, partner plays the ace and returns the heart six. Declarer plays the 10 as you ruff. Now what for 15 points?

NORTH

[7 of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[2 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[King of Hearts]
[Queen of Hearts]
[Jack of Hearts]
[7 of Clubs]
[5 of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]
[6 of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]
[4 of Diamonds]

WEST

[8 of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[2 of Hearts]
[Ace of Clubs]
[10 of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[6 of Clubs]
[4 of Clubs]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[10 of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]

4 CONTRACT: 6C West leads the three of hearts. You play low from dummy and capture East's six with your eight. You then play three rounds of spades, ruffing with the 10 of clubs. When you play the ace-king of clubs. West discards the deuce of hearts on the second round. (Life is never easy.) For 15 points, what now?

NORTH

[King of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[10 of Hearts]
[5 of Hearts]
[4 of Hearts]
[10 of Clubs]
[4 of Clubs]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[10 of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]

SOUTH

[Ace of Spades]
[9 of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[Queen of Hearts]
[8 of Hearts]
[Ace of Clubs]
[King of Clubs]
[Queen of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]
[6 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]

5 CONTRACT: 3NT West, your partner, leads the seven of spades. Dummy plays low. How do you defend, for 15 points?

NORTH

[Jack of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[2 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[Ace of Clubs]
[Queen of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]
[6 of Clubs]
[5 of Clubs]
[10 of Diamonds]
[6 of Diamonds]
[4 of Diamonds]

EAST

[Ace of Spades]
[10 of Spades]
[9 of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[10 of Hearts]
[2 of Hearts]
[10 of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[7 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]

6 CONTRACT: 7NT After you, as South, open two no trump, you and your partner bid as high as you can go. West leads the 10 of diamonds. For 15 points, what is the line of play that will give you the best chance to land your 13th trick?

NORTH

[Ace of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[10 of Hearts]
[7 of Hearts]
[6 of Hearts]
[5 of Hearts]
[Ace of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[7 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]

SOUTH

[King of Spades]
[Jack of Spades]
[10 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[King of Hearts]
[Jack of Hearts]
[King of Clubs]
[Queen of Clubs]
[10 of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]
[King of Diamonds]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]

7 CONTRACT: 6S Partner leads the queen of diamonds. Declarer wins with the king and plays four rounds of spades, discarding a heart and club from dummy. Partner plays two spades and discards the eight and two of diamonds. At trick six, declarer leads the heart six, partner plays the deuce, dummy the king. For 20 points, plan your defense.

NORTH

[6 of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[King of Hearts]
[Queen of Hearts]
[Jack of Hearts]
[7 of Hearts]
[4 of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[Jack of Clubs]
[5 of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]

EAST

[10 of Spades]
[9 of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[8 of Hearts]
[King of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]
[6 of Clubs]
[6 of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]

8 CONTRACT: 5C West, having overcalled one spade, leads the king. East produces the two. Plan your play for 20 points.

NORTH

[Jack of Spades]
[10 of Spades]
[8 of Spades]
[10 of Hearts]
[9 of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[Ace of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[4 of Clubs]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[4 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]

SOUTH

[Ace of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[King of Hearts]
[Queen of Hearts]
[4 of Hearts]
[King of Clubs]
[Jack of Clubs]
[10 of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]
[5 of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]
[King of Diamonds]
[8 of Diamonds]

9 CONTRACT: 3NT West opens the 10 of clubs. You win the opening lead in dummy, East playing the five. How do you continue for 25 points?

NORTH

[Ace of Spades]
[8 of Spades]
[2 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[10 of Hearts]
[9 of Hearts]
[8 of Hearts]
[Jack of Clubs]
[King of Diamonds]
[10 of Diamonds]
[8 of Diamonds]
[7 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]

SOUTH

[King of Spades]
[Jack of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[7 of Hearts]
[4 of Hearts]
[Ace of Clubs]
[King of Clubs]
[Queen of Clubs]
[4 of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]

10 CONTRACT: 3NT West leads the two of diamonds. East wins with the ace and returns the seven to your king. At trick three you lay down the ace of clubs. West plays the three and East the jack. For 25 points, how do you continue?

NORTH

[King of Spades]
[Jack of Spades]
[9 of Spades]
[8 of Spades]
[5 of Hearts]
[2 of Hearts]
[King of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]
[5 of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs]
[8 of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]

SOUTH

[Ace of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[King of Hearts]
[10 of Hearts]
[9 of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[Ace of Clubs]
[10 of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[King of Diamonds]
[Jack of Diamonds]

THE ANSWERS

1

NORTH

[King of Spades]
[Jack of Spades]
[10 of Spades]
[Queen of Hearts]
[10 of Hearts]
[8 of Hearts]
[6 of Hearts]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]
[Queen of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]

WEST

[Ace of Spades]
[8 of Spades]
[7 of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[2 of Spades]
[7 of Hearts]
[2 of Hearts]
[King of Diamonds]
[8 of Diamonds]
[6 of Diamonds]
[4 of Diamonds]
[Ace of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]

SOUTH

[9 of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[King of Hearts]
[9 of Hearts]
[5 of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[7 of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]
[King of Clubs]
[10 of Clubs]
[6 of Clubs]

EAST

[Queen of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[Jack of Hearts]
[4 of Hearts]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[10 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]
[Jack of Clubs]
[5 of Clubs]
[4 of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs]

At trick two, it is slightly more likely that West did not lead from an ace-queen combination, so declarer should come up with the king from dummy.

Once the queen of spades drops from East, it is extremely likely that West has the ace of clubs to back his bidding (he did not lead a diamond honor, showing a sequence) plus a 5-2-4-2 distribution on the bidding (he followed on two rounds of trumps).

You have lost a spade and must lose a diamond, so the idea is to hold your club losses to one. After you have drawn trumps, cash the high spade, then play the ace and another diamond. Maybe one of the opponents will lead the ace of clubs or play a spade, giving you a ruff and sluff. Alas, they are not patsies and they return a diamond. Ruff and lead a low club toward the queen. When this holds, lead another back, play low and presto, the ace falls. It's such an easy game.

2

NORTH

[Ace of Spades]
[9 of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[Queen of Hearts]
[7 of Hearts]
[2 of Hearts]
[2 of Diamonds]
[Ace of Clubs]
[King of Clubs]
[Jack of Clubs]
[6 of Clubs]
[4 of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs]

WEST

[6 of Spades]
[King of Hearts]
[Jack of Hearts]
[8 of Hearts]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[King of Diamonds]
[10 of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[7 of Diamonds]
[10 of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[5 of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]

SOUTH

[King of Spades]
[Queen of Spades]
[Jack of Spades]
[8 of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[10 of Hearts]
[6 of Hearts]
[5 of Hearts]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[8 of Diamonds]
[6 of Diamonds]
[7 of Clubs]

EAST

[10 of Spades]
[7 of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[2 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[9 of Hearts]
[4 of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[5 of Diamonds]
[4 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]
[Queen of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]

The danger here is that declarer will be able to discard at least one heart loser on the clubs and scramble home with 10 tricks.

As partner figures to have the ace of hearts—he must have something for that double—the proper shift at trick two is the jack of hearts.

This allows the defenders to take three quick heart tricks even if declarer happens to have the 10. But the lead must be the jack. If either the king of hearts or the eight of hearts is led at trick two, declarer loses only two tricks with normal play.

Follow the defense with the lead of the jack. If dummy plays low, so does East. Now the defenders simply cash ace-king. If dummy covers with the queen. East wins the ace and returns the three. West has the king-eight behind the 10 and must come to two additional tricks.

3

NORTH

[7 of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[2 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[King of Hearts]
[Queen of Hearts]
[Jack of Hearts]
[6 of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]
[4 of Diamonds]
[7 of Clubs]
[5 of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]

WEST

[8 of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[2 of Hearts]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[10 of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[Ace of Clubs]
[Queen of Clubs]
[10 of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[6 of Clubs]
[4 of Clubs]

SOUTH

[King of Spades]
[Queen of Spades]
[10 of Spades]
[9 of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[10 of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[King of Diamonds]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[8 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]
[King of Clubs]

EAST

[Ace of Spades]
[Jack of Spades]
[9 of Hearts]
[8 of Hearts]
[7 of Hearts]
[6 of Hearts]
[5 of Hearts]
[4 of Hearts]
[King of Diamonds]
[7 of Diamonds]
[Jack of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs]

If partner had either the ace of diamonds or the king of clubs, he would be giving you clearer signals in hearts. For example, if he had the king of clubs, he would have led his lowest heart for you to ruff. But, if he had the ace of diamonds, he would have led his highest heart.

As he appears to have neither, you should cash the club ace before it gets away on dummy's hearts (notice dummy has an entry in the seven of spades).

If declarer has a 5-3-4-1 or a 5-2-5-1 distribution, discards on the hearts will still leave him with a diamond loser. So cash the club ace quickly.

4

NORTH

[King of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[10 of Hearts]
[5 of Hearts]
[4 of Hearts]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[10 of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]
[10 of Clubs]
[4 of Clubs]

WEST

[Jack of Spades]
[8 of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[King of Hearts]
[Jack of Hearts]
[9 of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[2 of Hearts]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[8 of Diamonds]
[7 of Diamonds]
[4 of Diamonds]
[2 of Clubs]

SOUTH

[Ace of Spades]
[9 of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[Queen of Hearts]
[8 of Hearts]
[6 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]
[Ace of Clubs]
[King of Clubs]
[Queen of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]

EAST

[Queen of Spades]
[10 of Spades]
[7 of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[2 of Spades]
[7 of Hearts]
[6 of Hearts]
[King of Diamonds]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[Jack of Clubs]
[6 of Clubs]
[5 of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]

Faced with a certain diamond loser (unless East has the jack of hearts doubleton), declarer must play to reduce his trump holding to East's size, planning to exit with a diamond in a three-card position. To do this, a diamond, not a heart, must be discarded from dummy on the second round of clubs.

Now enter dummy with the heart ace (West covering the queen) and ruff a heart. East discards a spade, leaving:

NORTH

[— of Spades]
[10 of Hearts]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[10 of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]
[— of Clubs]

WEST

[— of Spades]
[Jack of Hearts]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[8 of Diamonds]
[7 of Diamonds]
[4 of Diamonds]
[— of Clubs]

SOUTH

[— of Spades]
[— of Hearts]
[6 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]
[Queen of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]

EAST

[Queen of Spades]
[— of Hearts]
[King of Diamonds]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[Jack of Clubs]
[6 of Clubs]

Enter dummy with the ace of diamonds and ruff the last heart with the eight of clubs. You then exit with a diamond and take the last two tricks with the Q9 of clubs.

5

NORTH

[Jack of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[2 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[10 of Diamonds]
[6 of Diamonds]
[4 of Diamonds]
[Ace of Clubs]
[Queen of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]
[6 of Clubs]
[5 of Clubs]

WEST

[8 of Spades]
[7 of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[Jack of Hearts]
[9 of Hearts]
[5 of Hearts]
[4 of Hearts]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[8 of Diamonds]
[Jack of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]

SOUTH

[King of Spades]
[Queen of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[King of Hearts]
[Queen of Hearts]
[8 of Hearts]
[7 of Hearts]
[6 of Hearts]
[King of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]
[King of Clubs]
[4 of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs]

EAST

[Ace of Spades]
[10 of Spades]
[9 of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[10 of Hearts]
[2 of Hearts]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[7 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]
[10 of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]

Given that your partner is unlikely to have much of anything in spades (although he just might have Q107 or K107) there is a grave danger that if you let this trick go by, the contract will go with it:

The clubs look menacing and if declarer has the KQ of hearts that's the old ball game. (One spade, five clubs and three hearts.)

The best chance is to go for the diamond suit at once. So, you win with the ace of spades and then shift to a low diamond. Look how happy you will make your partner.

6

NORTH

[Ace of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[10 of Hearts]
[7 of Hearts]
[6 of Hearts]
[5 of Hearts]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[7 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]
[Ace of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs]

WEST

[Queen of Spades]
[9 of Spades]
[8 of Spades]
[Queen of Hearts]
[4 of Hearts]
[2 of Hearts]
[10 of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[8 of Diamonds]
[Jack of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]
[6 of Clubs]
[4 of Clubs]

SOUTH

[King of Spades]
[Jack of Spades]
[10 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[King of Hearts]
[Jack of Hearts]
[King of Diamonds]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]
[King of Clubs]
[Queen of Clubs]
[10 of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]

EAST

[7 of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[2 of Spades]
[9 of Hearts]
[8 of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[6 of Diamonds]
[4 of Diamonds]
[9 of Clubs]
[5 of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]

To give yourself the best possible chance, cash the ace and king of hearts and hope the queen drops. If that doesn't happen, play off the ace-king-queen of clubs, discarding a heart from the table and hope—and pray—that the jack drops. If that doesn't happen, run the diamonds. On the last diamond this will be the position:

NORTH

[Ace of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[10 of Hearts]
[7 of Diamonds]
[— of Clubs]

WEST

[Queen of Spades]
[9 of Spades]
[Queen of Hearts]
[— of Diamonds]
[Jack of Clubs]

SOUTH

[King of Spades]
[Jack of Spades]
[10 of Spades]
[— of Hearts]
[— of Diamonds]
[10 of Clubs]

EAST

[7 of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[— of Hearts]
[— of Diamonds]
[— of Clubs]

East discards a spade, you throw a club as does West and there you are with the other declarers in the World Championship. You play the ace of spades and see West's nine. What do you do? The percentage play is to finesse because West started with no more than four spades and perhaps only three. As the rule is to play the man with length for the missing card, the finesse should be taken. As a result of all this genius reasoning nobody made 7NT. Take full credit for simply cashing your suits in the right order. In fact if you didn't go down two you misplayed the hand!

7

NORTH

[6 of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[King of Hearts]
[Queen of Hearts]
[Jack of Hearts]
[7 of Hearts]
[4 of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[Jack of Clubs]
[5 of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]

WEST

[8 of Spades]
[2 of Spades]
[10 of Hearts]
[9 of Hearts]
[5 of Hearts]
[2 of Hearts]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[10 of Diamonds]
[8 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]
[10 of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs]

SOUTH

[Ace of Spades]
[King of Spades]
[Queen of Spades]
[Jack of Spades]
[7 of Spades]
[6 of Hearts]
[King of Diamonds]
[7 of Diamonds]
[4 of Diamonds]
[Ace of Clubs]
[Queen of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[4 of Clubs]

EAST

[10 of Spades]
[9 of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[8 of Hearts]
[6 of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]
[King of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]
[6 of Clubs]

You should win the ace of hearts and return a club. If declarer has a second heart there is absolutely no defense as declarer has 12 tricks—count 'em—five spades, four hearts, two diamonds and one club.

Therefore you must assume declarer has a singleton heart and return a club before declarer knows that hearts are not breaking.

If you return a club, declarer has to decide at once whether it is better to run your club lead to the jack, playing you for the king, or rise with the ace and gamble the hearts are good. He might go wrong.

However, if you either duck the heart or win the heart and return a diamond, declarer will win the diamond return, test the hearts discarding a diamond and a club and eventually lead the jack of clubs from dummy. Now you are a goner. Cover or not. with partner's doubleton 10, declarer loses no club tricks.

8

NORTH

[Jack of Spades]
[10 of Spades]
[8 of Spades]
[10 of Hearts]
[9 of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[4 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]
[Ace of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[4 of Clubs]

WEST

[King of Spades]
[Queen of Spades]
[7 of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[8 of Hearts]
[6 of Hearts]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[10 of Diamonds]
[7 of Diamonds]
[7 of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs]

SOUTH

[Ace of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[King of Hearts]
[Queen of Hearts]
[4 of Hearts]
[King of Diamonds]
[8 of Diamonds]
[King of Clubs]
[Jack of Clubs]
[10 of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]
[5 of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]

EAST

[9 of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[2 of Spades]
[Jack of Hearts]
[7 of Hearts]
[5 of Hearts]
[2 of Hearts]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[6 of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]
[Queen of Clubs]
[6 of Clubs]

If clubs are 2-2, there is no problem, but what if they are not? West probably has the ace of diamonds in which case it would be easy to lose two diamonds and a club.

Declarer can take out a little insurance at a small risk. Cash the ace-king of hearts and then lead a club to the ace and a club back to your hand intending to finesse if East follows.

If the finesse works you arc nearly home. You should then play the queen of hearts. If all follow, draw the last trump and concede two diamonds. If East has a doubleton heart and is able to ruff, you are not in such good shape, but you never were.

However, if East has either three or four hearts along with three clubs, you are home free. Now let's see what happens if you lose to the doubleton queen of clubs in the West hand. You are still O.K. providing West does not have a third heart with which to exit. If West has no more hearts he will either have to lead a diamond (good for you) or try to cash the queen of spades—also good for you. (Remember you have a club entry to dummy.)

All in all, it is better to try for a little something rather than go for a big nothing.

9

NORTH

[Ace of Spades]
[8 of Spades]
[2 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[10 of Hearts]
[9 of Hearts]
[8 of Hearts]
[King of Diamonds]
[10 of Diamonds]
[8 of Diamonds]
[7 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]
[Jack of Clubs]

WEST

[Queen of Spades]
[9 of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[Queen of Hearts]
[5 of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[4 of Diamonds]
[10 of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]
[6 of Clubs]

SOUTH

[King of Spades]
[Jack of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[7 of Hearts]
[4 of Hearts]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]
[Ace of Clubs]
[King of Clubs]
[Queen of Clubs]
[4 of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]

EAST

[10 of Spades]
[7 of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[King of Hearts]
[Jack of Hearts]
[6 of Hearts]
[2 of Hearts]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[6 of Diamonds]
[5 of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs]

In view of West's club lead into your first-bid suit, there is a strong likelihood that the suit is not going to break 4-3 as you would like and that you will either have to set up the diamonds without losing three tricks or eventually take the spade finesse.

The normal play in diamonds is low to the queen. However, with West marked with long clubs, it is probable that West is shorter in diamonds than East.

An unusual safety play is called for. The 10 of diamonds should be led from dummy at trick two with the intention of letting it ride if East plays low.

If diamonds break 3-2 nothing matters, but if diamonds are 4-1 and West really is the one who is short, leading the 10 loses only to a singleton jack in the West hand. Alternatively, leading low to the queen loses if West has either the singleton six or the singleton four making the lead of the 10 twice as good.

Naturally, if the 10 is covered, you play the queen, thus setting up the diamonds, losing at most two of them plus two hearts.

10

NORTH

[King of Spades]
[Jack of Spades]
[9 of Spades]
[8 of Spades]
[5 of Hearts]
[2 of Hearts]
[8 of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]
[King of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]
[5 of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs]

WEST

[10 of Spades]
[7 of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[2 of Spades]
[8 of Hearts]
[7 of Hearts]
[4 of Hearts]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[4 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]
[4 of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]

SOUTH

[Ace of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[King of Hearts]
[10 of Hearts]
[9 of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[King of Diamonds]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[Ace of Clubs]
[10 of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]

EAST

[Queen of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[Queen of Hearts]
[Jack of Hearts]
[6 of Hearts]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[10 of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[7 of Diamonds]
[6 of Diamonds]
[Queen of Clubs]
[Jack of Clubs]
[6 of Clubs]

This is strictly a matter of percentages. In order to keep all doors open, play a second club to the king. If the queen drops your troubles are over. If it does not, lead a heart to the ace hoping to drop an honor. If an honor drops play a second high heart hoping to drop the QJ bare in that suit.

If no heart honor drops on the first round, play the ace of spades and a low spade to the jack hoping West has either Qxx or Qxxx.

On the actual hand, as you can see none of these plays works—c'est la vie. You get the points anyway. Remember this is the Christmas season.

ILLUSTRATIONCATHY HULL
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)