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Updated  5th February 2023

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Hand of the week

 Hand of the week, week commencing, Sunday  25th September  2022

Plan your defence - what are you going to lead?

If you would like to play this hand out then click here

Dealer: South Vuln: E/W

Q J 5
K Q 6 5 3 2
A 10 6
A Q 9 5 3 2
9 8 7 6
7 2
W   E
10 8 7
A K 10
J 10 9 4
Q 9 4
K J 4
4 3 2
A 7
K J 8 5 3
2 3 Pass 3NT

Lead 9

Are you a member of the "Always Brigade"? If so you will probably lead 5 and declarer will wrap up 1 Spade, 3 Diamonds, and probably 5 clubs before you can say Terrence Reese.

However, when I watched this hand being played on Ok Bridge, I was enchanted by the magnificent defence found by EW.

West reasoned that declarer must have a Spade honour if not two and leading a spade would undoubtedly give declarer the initiative to run the long Diamond suit in dummy. Therefore West decided to lead the unbid suit, hoping to find something with partner. So he led the 9 and when declarer played the Jack partner won with the KING (a revealing card).

West duly led back a LOW SPADE confirming an initial holding of three. Declarer tried the Jack won by West's Queen. West now knew his partner held the Heart Ace (since the king of Hearts held when declarer tried the Queen). East now cashed the 10 so as not to block the suit later  just in case West started with 4 Hearts as well as 6 Spades and then switched back to Spades finessing declarer's King.

By the time the mist cleared the defence had taken the first 10 tricks (by way of 6 Spades and 4 Hearts)  -6 down - with most of the other declarers getting home after a Spade lead.- Well defended - this is what makes bridge such a wonderful game J.

  You can also play out the following hand  to see how the hand pans out. (You need bridgvu.exe programme  and it is available free from )                      

alternatively watch the film of the hand being played out by going to

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