A Bridge Phantasmagoria




A situation often arises when a defender has winners if partner can obtain the lead to play through, or if he himself can obtain the lead when holding established winners. “Danger Man” must be shut out at all costs and various manoeuvres of achieving this laudable aim are available.

The first gambit is to exchange one loser for another as in the following hand.

Love all: West deals


H 985432
D 987
C QJ10


S K109
H 76
D Q63
C AK983


S AQ87653
H K10
D 4
C 765


S 42
D AKJ1052
C 42


A number of South players found a profitable sacrifice in Five Diamonds but for the purpose of the exercise, the East player has been allowed to play in four Spades, against which, South cashes the ace of diamonds and switches to a trump.

Assuming that South has been busy in the auction, East will realise that he will lose two heart tricks if danger man at North gets the lead and he will do just that if declarer plays out the clubs.

He wins the trump from South with the ace and returns to dummy with the ten of spades. He then shuts out North with a very neat manoeuvre. He leads the queen of diamonds and although he does not have a losing diamond, he discards a losing club instead, thus placing the lead with South who does not pose any threat.

At this point, South might as well cash his ace of hearts lest it “go to bed” because East will quickly establish the clubs with one ruff and dummy still has the king of spades for entry.

In our second example, a trick must needs be given up in the diamond suit but declarer has to make certain that it is given up to the non-danger hand


S QJ972
H Q95
D J42
C 65


S K85
H A103
D AK109
C A98


S 1064
H K864
D 865


S A3
H J72
D Q73
C J10743


Normal bidding will take West to a 3NT contract as follows:













North leads the seven of spades and South wins the ace and returns the three. If West ducks, as many a player would, he plunges to defeat, as North will play a third spade and South will chuck the queen of diamonds and North’s jack will be an entry to the spades. To guard against such a possibility, West must go up with the king of spades at once.

As a first step, West leads the three of hearts, hoping to duck a heart to South but North is on his toes and inserts the nine, forcing the king. A small diamond is led from dummy and if South plays small, the ace is played and dummy is entered with a club to again play a diamond.

If South puts up the queen, he is allowed to hold the trick and if he plays small, West wins the king and a third diamonds gives the lead to South from whom there is no danger. He does not have a spade to lead and even if he had, only three spade tricks would be lost.

The game is made with one spade trick, two hearts, three diamonds and three clubs.


by Carl Dickel