Left Field 07

But wait! There’s more! Let’s now look at the case where West has doubled South’s 2S rangefinder and then, when South has put North into 6NT, doubled again to ensure a spade lead. East leads the three (we saw what could happen if East leads the ten), ‘low from three to an honour’ as our lessons recommend. Now that we know what would happen if declarer puts in the queen for a futile finesse, let’s try again. Declarer puts up the ace and proceeds as before: takes some hearts and then the diamonds reveal the fact that East had 3172 and West 5404. Now the play is an open book. West has to keep all four clubs when declarer plays the top three diamonds, therefore is down to the king of spades on its own. The queen now puts West in and West must open the club suit up. No matter which club West exits with, four club tricks for declarer add up to a well played 6NT!

Board 13 Dealer N All Vul

742
AKQJ
97
KT62
KJ986
8763
Q973
T53
5
JT86543
84
AQ
T942
AKQ2
AJ5

Left Field 06

Now we can take another look at the deal in my previous article, but when East leads the three of spades against 6NT. If there has been a lead directional double by West when South has bid 2S as a rangefinder, declarer will almost certainly not make because what appears to be a ‘safe’ lead of the diamond jack will give declarer enough clues to make, as we saw in our previous analysis. The lead of the spade three puts declarer under immediate pressure and there is no reason not to put in the queen in the hope that East has the king, or that the clubs behave, or a squeeze develops. Thus, the queen loses to West’s king and West then returns a low spade, taking out dummy’s ace and leaving declarer in an awful spot. How should declarer proceed?

Board 13 Dealer N All Vul

742
AKQJ
97
KT62
KJ986
8763
Q973
T53
5
JT86543
84
AQ
T942
AKQ2
AJ5

Left Field 05

If you learn to understand squeeze play, you will be amazed how often you can gain that extra overtrick, but not only that, how often a squeeze can help you out of a really tight spot. Often, in such challenging situations, not only will you need to execute an intricate squeeze play, you may need to alter your technique to fit in with the facts as you know them. This fascinating deal occurred at X-Clubs on Friday 28/07/2023.

Board 13 Dealer N All Vul

742
AKQJ
97
KT62
KJ986
8763
Q973
T53
5
JT86543
84
AQ
T942
AKQ2
AJ5

Left Field 04

In my previous article we discussed drawing, in fact not drawing, trumps. Continuing on that theme, how would you like to play in a six card trump suit opposite a void and, suspecting that nearly everyone else would be playing in 3NT. All very well if your trump suit is solid but North’s in this deal was headed by the AK but then the next cards were the 9853. Let’s take a look. This comes from X-Clubs on Wednesday 5-July 2023.

Board 5 Dealer N NS Vul

T5
AK9853
A5
A32
984
Q762
KQ4
T74
K762
JT4
982
Q65
AQJ3
JT763
KJ98

Left Field 03

There are times when what looks like a careless play can produce great results. Too many people follow set principles, especially when it comes to drawing trumps. This deal comes from Thursday 29/06/23 at X-Clubs.

Board 1 Dealer N Nil Vul

9
AQ74
AK874
Q73
AQJ6
86
Q6
J9864
T872
JT9
JT93
K5
K543
K532
52
AT2

Left Field 02

I am a great believer in the “Law of Total Tricks” but in its simplest form, without the whole rigmarole that has been advanced by a number of expert players and authors. Being a simple soul in bridge terms, I have my own very simple version of the “Total Tricks” theory and I abbreviate it to “TNT”. To put it in simple terms, in a contested auction where both sides are bidding their own suit:
TNT

Left Field 01

Vil just can't seem to help himself! He must have found his days to be pretty empty since he gave up writing his articles for our X-Clubs site .. a month ago. Here's his latest series

We all learn a lot from reading bridge articles in newspapers and magazines, but sometimes we can learn a lot more by reading them and thinking things through for ourselves. This series of “Left Field” articles will not just help readers improve their bridge, I hope it will encourage them to start thinking for themselves.

Dealer S EW Vul

J643
9654
AQ4
94
97
72
T97
AQT873
KT2
K83
J8632
J5
AQ85
AQJT
K5
K62

Your Bid Your Lead 02

Unfortunately, due to the lack of sufficient entries from readers, this feature will not be continued.

Here is a summary of the panel’s answers and assigned score to the bids and opening leads, based on the panel’s answers, the majority answers scoring the most points, rightly or wrongly, along with my own comments where they may be of interest to the reader.

You are SOUTH in each case, and playing MATCH POINTS at your local club. Basic Acol, 12-14 1NT with transfers. 1C,1D,1H,1S all natural and 4+ cards.

X-Def 14

This deal, from a Swiss pairs on line session, has lots of pointers for everybody, on bidding, declarer play, and defence. Not surprising, therefore, that the results varied considerably from pair to pair.

Board 21 Dealer North NS Vul

843
9
A974
KJ985
KQJT95
J3
K65
T2
A
AQ72
QJT82
A76
762
KT8654
3
Q43

Your Bid Your Lead 01

This is a new feature that I would like to introduce to X-Clubs. Each week, I will select four BIDDING problems and four OPENING LEAD problems from actual deals at X-Clubs. I will pose these problems to a panel of club players and then assign points to the answers according to the panel’s views as well as results from the actual deals. All readers can enter into this competition, all they have to do is send their bids or opening leads for each of the eight problems, to me at villyn@xtra.co.nz before midnight each Sunday, this week the deadline is Sunday 21 May.

At the end of every four weeks, there will be a monthly prize of a Lotto Ticket (which could make the winner a millionaire!) awarded to the highest scorer. Good luck!

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