Eddie Kantar

Test Your Play

1-10  |  11-20  |  21-30  | 31-40  |  41-50  |  51-60  |  61-70  |  71-80  |  81-90  |  91-100

Edited 3-3-19

#71   One of Each?

Dlr: South

Vul: Both


S. Q2 

H. QJ74          

D. K96

C. 8754


S. A63

H. A10965

D. A73


South  West  North  East

1H       Pass   2H      Pass

2NT     Pass   4H      All Pass

Opening lead:  DQ     Plan the play.


The idea is to give yourself two chances in the play by winning the opening lead in the closed hand and leading a low spade at trick two. If West has the king, West's best play is to win and get out with a diamond. You have an answer. Win the DK in dummy, cash the SA, cross to the HA  (finesses are for peasants-especially when they can cost you your contract) and discard dummy's losing diamond on the SA. Now you can concede a heart. You wind up losing a spade, a heart and a club. If East has the SK, you are reduced to the heart finesse. 

If you take the heart finesse before leading up to the SK (putting all of your eggs in one basket), as the cards lie, West wins, gets out with a high diamond, and down you go losing a trick in each suit.

The West hand:  S. KJ85  H. K2  D. QJ102  C. 962  
The East hand:   S. 10974  H. 83  D. 854  C. AJ103


If possible, try to give yourself two chances in the play. This may mean taking a long hard look at the hand before playing too quickly to the first trick, a common error many declarers (not you) make.

#72   Slam Dunk

S. AK98764
C. J10

S. 32
H. AJ10976
D. A2
C. K93

You and partner arrive at the exquisite contract of 6H against silent opposition.  West leads the DJ.  Plan the play.    Hearts are 3-2.


When the dummy presents you with a long strong side suit, use it!  Win the diamond lead in your hand (key play)  draw three rounds of trumps overtaking dummy'ssecond heart, discarding a spade (not a club) from dummy, and cross to the SA. If both follow, you have the rest of the tricks, play the SK and trump a spade, if necessary, return to the DK and discard your three clubs on dummy's established spades. If spades turn out to be 4-0 (I wouldn't do that to you), you have to fall back on the club finesse, running the CJ needing to find East with the queen to makeyour slam.

The West hand:  S. Q105  H. 43  D. J1097  C. AQ86 
The East hand:   S. J         H. 852  D. 86543  C. 7542


When dummy has a long powerful side suit, the idea is to set up that suit and use it after drawing trumps.  Dummy entries are fequently ciritical, so try to conserve as many side suit entries to dummy as possible. 

#73  Silence is Golden

Dlr: South
Vul: Both

S. AKJ109
H. 4 
C. 42

S. Q7
H. KJ98
D. 432
C. AQ65

South  West  North  East
1C       Pass   1S      Pass
1NT     Pass    6NT!  Pass
Pass   Dbl.      All Pass 

Opening lead: D5 


It looks for all the world as if West has the HAQ and the CK.  You must make West pay for this indiscretion.  What you have to do is cash your 10 spade and diamond winners reducing to the blank HK and the CAQ.  If West has those three missing honors, what can West reduce to?  If West saves the guarded king of clubs and the blank HA, lead a heart and take the last two club tricks. If West blanks the CK and saves the HAQ, play a club to the ace and snare the king. You have to read the ending, but you can do it! 

The West hand:  S. 4  H. AQ106  D. 10875  C. KJ87
The East hand:   S. 86532  H. 7543  D. 9  C. 1093


When a defender tips the mitt by giving you gratutious information, it's your job to make that defender sorry he was ever born!

#74  Only in a Quiz Would You Get a Hand Like This!  

Dlr: West
Vul: Both

S. KQ54
H. 543
D. 432
C. A87

S. A
H. AKJ10
D. AKQJ10987
C. -

West  North  East  South
5C      Pass   Pass  7D
All Pass

Opening lead:  CK    Plan the play


Either you see it or you don't.  Win the CA, discarding the SA, and discard two hearts on the SKQ.  If everything lives, draw trumps and you have a good story to tell. If you don't see it, you are reduced to the heart finesse. Sorry.

The West hand:  S. 10  H. Q87  D. -  C. KQJ9865432 
The East hand:   S. J987632  H. 963  D. 65 C. 2


Although it isn't every day that you can discard an ace on an ace, unblocking plays are not all that uncommon so you have to be alert! 

#75  A Forcing Defense

Dlr: North  
Vul: None

S. AQ6
H. KQ7
D. 432
C. A752 

S. KJ1097
H. AJ3
D. 5
C. 8643

North      East  South  West
1C           Pass  1S       2D
Dbl (1)    3D      4S       All Pass

(1) Support double showing three spades. A raise would show four spades. 

Opening lead:  DK     East continues with the  DA  (king from ace-king in supported suits).  Plan the play.  (Spades are 3-2)


You have 9 tricks (it's never a bad idea to count your notrump tricks) and need one more. That 'one more' can be scored if clubs break a civilized 3-2- as long as you don't run out of trumps before you set up your fourth club!

For example, if you were to draw trumps before attacking clubs, you would be a goner.  After giving up one club trick, you would be forced to use your last trump to ruff the diamond continuation. Now when the opponents get in with a second club trick, their diamonds are all winners!  What you have to do is trump the second diamond and play the ace and a club. Assuming the opponents continue with a third round of diamonds, ruff, and concede a second trick. The difference is that now both your hand and dummy are fresh out of diamonds and if a 4th diamond is played you can trump it high in dummy, draw trumps, and take the balance.

The West hand: S. 42  H. 965  D. AKQ107  C. Q109 
The East hand:  S. 853  H. 10842  D. J976 C. KJ


At times in order to retain control of a hand, you must establish a side suit before drawing trumps. The idea being to eventually void both your hand and the dummy in the force suit so that the dummy (or the shorter trump hand) can take the impending force. 

#76  See it?

Dlr: West
Vul: Neither

S. Q732
H. Q642
D. A7
C. 853

S. KJ10984
H. 6
D. K83
C. AQ2

West  North  East  South
1H      Pass   Pass  2S (1)
3H      4S       All Pass  

(1) Intermediate in the pass out seat.

Opening lead:  HA   (A from AK).  East plays the H9 and West shifts to the ace and a spade, East discarding the DJ. on the second spade. Plan the play.


With the CK marked with West, a loser on loser play is the way to go.  Win the spade exit in dummy, ruff a heart, cross to the DA, ruff a heart, cash the DK, ruff a diamond,
stripping that suit, and exit dummy with the now lone HQ, discarding a club. West, on lead, either has to surrender a ruff and a sluff or lead into your CAQ.  Game made.

The West hand:  A5  H. AKJ1075  D. J6  C. K104    
The East hand:  S. 6  H. 98  D. J109854  C. J976


Jump reopening bids in the passout seat by a non-passed hand  show strong hands. They are NOT weak. For exaaple  a jump to 2NT shows 20-21 it is not unusual. 

When a finesse is sure to lose (club finesse), try to arrange a throw-in play to avoid the finesse. Stripping the hand before the throw-in is one way to go. When given a ruff and a sluff (say West leads a heart after being thrown in with a heart), discard from the short side of the critical suit (clubs) and ruff on the long side. Translation: Discard the CQ (the hand that is shorter in clubs) and ruff in dummy. The discard of an honor card (DJ) indicates the top of a sequence. It indicates the card that would have been led had the player making the discard been on lead.

#77  No Kidding Around

Dlr: West
Vul: East-West

S. Q863
D. A643
C. 1094 

S. AKJ10952
H. -
D. 752
C. KQ6

West  North  East    South
1H      Dbl.    3H (1)  6S! 

(1)  Preemptive

Opening lead:  HQ     Plan the play. 


With the CA marked with West (might have the CJ as well), try to set up dummy's fourth diamond for a club discard before messing with clubs. Cash the AK of hearts, discarding two diamonds and then the DA followed by a diamond ruff high. Return to dummy with the SQ using a high middle trump and ruff another diamond high. If diamonds are 3-3, dummy's last diamond can be used to pitch a club. If diamonds are 4-2, enter dummy with a trump and lead a club to the king. If it loses, West is endplayed unless he has a diamond to lead. If he does, ruff high, return to dummy with a trump and run the C10. If the CK holds, enter dummy with a trump and run the C10.

The West hand:  S. 4  H. QJ10974  D. KJ8  C. AJ3
The East hand:   S. 7  H. 86532      D. Q109  C. 8752


Don't overlook the possibility of setting up a long suit in dummy even if it is a four card suit. After all, if you have three cards in the suit, there is a reasonable chance (36%)that the suit will divide 3-3.  With KQx facing 109x in dummy, lead low to the king. If it holds, return to dummy and lead the 10.  If second hand plays low again and there has been no bidding to guide you, you may have to put on your guessing shoes.  However, most players will take the king with the ace and few players in second seat will duck twice with the ace.  When planning to set up dummy's long suit or planning to lead a side suit, perhaps several times from dummy, conserve trump entries to dummy by saving lower trumps for later entry purposes. All jump responses (3H), after an opposing takeout double are considered preemptive.

#78  Agressive Contract

Dlr: South
Vul: None

S, AJ864
H. K82
D. 654
C. K3

S. K73
H. AQJ1093
C. 10

South      West  North  East
1H           Pass   1S      Pass
3D           Pass   4H      Pass
4NT (1)   Pass    5H (2) Pass
6H          All Pass

(1)  Keycard Blackwood   (2)  Two keycards including the HK

Opening lead:  H5   East follows.  Plan the play.


First things first. Win the trump lead in the closed hand and lead a club.  If the king loses to the ace, you are going to have to fall back on the spade finesse. A winning diamond finesse is not good enough. If West wins the CA and plays back a trump (as good as anything), take this with the H8 in dummy, discard a spade on the CK, and play the the SK, the DA and the SA. If both follow to the second spade, ruff a spade high, cross to dummy with the HK and discard the DJ on a winning spade. If spades are 4-1 and the second spade hasn't been trumped (there may be a trump at large) take the diamond finesse.

The West hand: S 98  H. 754  D. Q1087  C. A842
The East hand:   S. Q105  H. 6  D. 932  c. QJ9865


Try to give yourself at least two chances in the play-leading up the CK before attacking spades. When leading from three small trump, lead the middle trump and then play low to show three trump.  Leading low-high, shows two or four trump.  (This is done when the trump count is not clear as it is here. (South may have 5 or 6 hearts).

#79  Splinter Jump

Dlr: North
Vul: Both 

S. 973
H. AJ953
D. KJ104
C. 6 

S. A54
H. Q10872
D. Q7
C. AQ10

North  East  South  West
Pass   Pass  1H       Pass
4C (1) Pass  4H       All Pass

(1) Splinter jump.  Primary heart support, singleton club, game going values. 

Open lead:  SQ    East plays the S8, encouraging, plan the play.


Given East's encouraging signal at trick one, it is likely that spades are 4-3. If East had Kx, East would normally overtake to unblock the suit. All this means that you are in danger of losing two spades, the DA and the HK.  Furthermore, you don't have time to drive out the DA. The opponents will cash two spades and you will be at the mercy of the heart finesse.  The better play is to win the SA and lead the HQ to the HA.  If the HK doesn't drop, take the club finesse.  iIf it works, pitch a spade from dummy and make your contract that way.

The West hand:  S. QJ102  H. 6  D. A865  C. J983 
The  East hand:  S. K86  H. K4  D. 932  C. K7542


Even though you have no intention of finesseing for the HK, lead the HQ anyway.  Some players love to cover honors when they shouldn't. Some consider it a religious obligation. When a queen is led, third hand normally plays the king from Kx (unless the 10 is in the dummy).  If third hand doesn't make that play, assume third hand has at least three cards in the suit. However, on this hand West should not cover from Kx knowing the opponents have a 10 card heart fit and partner has at most a singleton.

#80 Should be Routine

Dlr: South
Vul: None


S. A75

H. J109

D. K8642

C. 94


S. K842

D. A53
C. AK86

South   West  North  East

2NT      Pass   3NT     All Pass

Opening lead:  H4    East plays the H2, standard count.  Plan the play.


Clearly the hand is easy if diamonds break 3-2 as the suit can be set up for four tricks to give you a grand total of 10 tricks. But what if diamonds break 4-1?  Given that hearts are 5-3 from

East's play of the H2 (odd number of hearts), you might have to shift your attention to spades and hope they break 3-3. The proper order of plays is the AK of diamonds at tricks
two and three. If all follow, concede a diamond and go about your business of scooping up your 10 tricks. But if diamonds break 4-1, duck a spade.  Win the expected heart return and play the AK of spades. On a good day (today is a good day) spades will be 3-3 and you will have salvaged your contract. Notice that if you duck a diamond at trick two, you go down the way the cards lie.

The West hand:  S. J43  H. K8743  D. Q1097  C. J

The East hand:   S. Q109  H. 842  D. J  C. Q109532




contact Eddie at kantarbridge@gmail.com   •   copyright © Eddie Kantar   •   site by designloft.com