Bridge Challenges

Send in your own play challenge or try one of these to improve your bridge play...

Michaels ready or not...

Question image

While a bid of the enemy suit in most auctions is used to show a strong hand, the immediate bid of the enemy suit is used differently, as a Michaels Cue Bid showing a weak 5-5 hand including any unbid major. What would you do with the following hand after an opponent opens 1C or 3C?

S JT9754
H KQJ643
D —
C J

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The hand of pain...

The hand

This is not a happy tale. It started off innocently enough with North opening 1D, my passing as East, and South bidding 1H. Then my partner West opened 1S and I got excited and things went downhill...

North bid 2D, and I counted my losers coming to 8. I was not sure whether to bid 3S or 4S on my massive fit and diamond void, so I temporized and bid 3S, telling myself that when I later bid 4S it might stop the opponents from doubling or continuing to bid.

After 3S, South bid 4H which was passed around to me, and sure enough I bid my 4S - not taking into account South's confidence in bidding game without any sign of a fit from partner.

So was South intimidated enough to pass and leave 4S undoubled?

Read more: The hand of pain...

Display finesse - by avoiding one

Finessing is one of most important plays in bridge. But what do you do when the cards are likely offside and your finesses are therefore slated to lose?

          NORTH
          S Q86
          H J63
          D 762
          C AQ54
WEST                EAST
S 42                S 97
H AQ82              H T975
D KJ4               D T985
C KT92              C J76
          SOUTH
          
S AKJT53
          
H K4
          
D AQ3
          
C 83

WEST  NORTH  EAST  SOUTH
1C    Pass   Pass  Dble
Pass  1NT    Pass  4S
All pass

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Coping with pre-empts

Bridge hand

The main reason the opponents pre-empt is to use up bidding space and make it hard for us. You need the right tools to counter their pre-empt and reach a sensible contract. Once you achieve that, you may even find that their pre-empt gives you information that helps you with the play.

Dealer East, EW vul.

          NORTH
          S 654
          H 75
          D AKJ5
          C AKT9
WEST                EAST
S 93                S KQJT87
H K642              H J83
D 76                D QT4
C 87642             C 5
          SOUTH
          S A2
          H AQT9
          D 9832
          C QJ3

How do you bid after East opens 2S?

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Counting shape as declarer

Can you work out how to bring this hand home? (Hint: Check the bidding and pity the diamonds are blocked...)

Peter Hollands describes the play and the thinking behind it in this four minute video. Would you be able to do this at the table?

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