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Bridge forces you to analyse before next move

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One of the most wonderful things about bridge is the way it forces you to analyse and distil the information you have been provided in order to arrive at your next move either as a declarer or a defender.

That information always includes the bidding, and quite often will include the manner in which the hand has been played so far, especially against good opponents.

I love today’s hand as it combines all of that. See Figure 1.

Figure 1

You are sitting in the West seat and open one diamond after South passes, North’s two diamond bid was Michaels, showing both majors.

After East passed South bid an invitational three spades, and North was happy to accept with his great suits and shape.

You lead the Queen of diamonds and the King wins in dummy. At trick two declarer leads a low heart to his Queen and your Ace – what now? The heart suit looks ominous so it looks like you should try and cash clubs – or should you?

Before you read on I’d like you to think about the hand and come up with a plan – start by trying to figure out South’s hand and remember, he did pass initially.

Take a few minutes before reading further.

OK, let’s try to do it together.

South clearly has the diamond Ace and has now shown the heart Queen, so that is six points. To have enough for his invitational bid, South must have either the Ace of spades or the King of clubs. Does that help?

Well, if he has the Ace of spades, why has he not drawn trump or gone to his hand at trick two with the Ace and discarded a club on the Ace of diamonds that you know he has, before giving you the lead in hearts?

Ergo! Partner must have the spade Ace – lead a spade, partner wins and switches to a club – down one!

The full hand is in Figure 2.

Really not that difficult if you train yourself to clear your head during the play and reconstruct the hands – take some time if you have to, and don’t be intimidated if the opponents show impatience.

I have played in a World Championship Teams match where an opponent took nearly ten minutes to play his next card on defence – I’m not saying that is where you should go, but just emphasising that you are allowed some thinking time, so use it well and you will get great pleasure when you solve a problem hand and it works.

David Ezekiel can be reached at davidezekiel999@gmail.com


Monday, April 1


1. Sheena Raymer-Magda Farag

2. Rachael Gosling-Margaret Way


1. Gertrude Barker-Jane Smith

2. Judith Bussell-Lisa Rhind

Tuesday, April 2


1. Jamie Sapsford-Jane Dowling

2. Felicity Lund-Frances McManus


1. Nikki Boyce-Carol Eastham

2. Tracey Pitt-Desiree Woods

Wednesday, April 3


1. William Pollett-Linda Pollett

2. Stephen Cosham-Rachael Gosling


1. Caroline Svensen-Diana Kempe

2. Greta Marshall-Heather Woolf

Thursday, April 4

1. Delton Outerbridge-Harry Kast

2= Lynanne Bolton-Magda Farag

2= Gertrude Barker-John Glynn

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Published April 06, 2024 at 7:56 am (Updated April 06, 2024 at 7:24 am)

Bridge forces you to analyse before next move

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