# Bridge Puzzles

To discover information about the opponents’ hands, sometimes it helps to count their high-card points, other times to count their distribution. On some deals, this discovery process is
slow when it involves playing many tricks and watching all the spots to build a picture of the unseen hands. On other deals, discovery can take place in a flash through inference.

22. Playing IMPs, you are East defending 3NT.

(Dummy)
J 10 3
East (You)
Q 5 2

Playing five-card majors, partner (West) opened 1, South bid notrump, and North–South reached 3NT. West leads the 6 and declarer calls for dummy’s 10. Which heart do you play?

SOLUTION

Duck the opening lead, saving your Q. I like to give count when dummy wins with the jack or a lower card, but the important thing is to
duck. If you presume that South holds a heart stopper to bid notrump in the face of partner’s 1 opening, playing the Q at trick one can’t gain. If declarer’s hearts are A K doubleton, saving your queen gains a trick. By withholding your queen, you break even when declarer’s hearts are A–x — declarer is entitled to two heart tricks — but you gain when declarer has A–K or K–x. In the latter case, partner’s ace drops the bare king on the second round and your preserved queen wins the third round. If partner has an entry, your team is ready to run the hearts.

23. Matchpoints. You are South, declaring 4.

North
♠ A 9 4
K 7 6 2
Q 7
♣ A 10 9 2
South
♠ J 5 3/div>
A J 10 9 3
10 4
♣ K J 8
 West North East South Pass 1♠ Pass 1NT 2♥ Pass 4♥ All Pass