July 2019 Challenge Hand


Get ready to play detective with this month’s Challenge Hand. Partner has pushed hard in the bidding with a grand slam of 7NT. Now you will need to gain clues about the distribution of the opponents’ hands to make that vital thirteenth trick! 

After playing this hand, make sure you watch the review video and read the explanation about Matt's approach to this hand below. Then leave a comment to tell me how you fared or what you thought of the hand. I love hearing your thoughts, so don’t be shy!

You will need an account with Joan Butts Bridge to play this hand. If you don’t already have an account, you can sign up at joanbuttsbridge.com/join 

Hand Review

Hand Explanation

Bidding: The bidding is a wild attempt by partner (not unexpected sometimes!) And, as usual YOU have to play it!

Play: Partner has pushed hard in the bidding, hoping for ♥️AKJ42, but we only have ♥️AK942. You have twelve definite winners, and the thirteenth will come from the heart suit (you hope). There is no cost to cashing all the outside winners before touching hearts. It just so happens that our right hand opponent turns up with one club, five diamonds and two spades, and therefore five hearts. So you finesse right hand opponent on the second round of hearts.

You need to play four rounds of spades to see how this suit breaks, then check the other suit you can afford to play, ie diamonds. It’s all about counting a hand in “safe” suits before you commit to your play in the crucial suit, hearts in this case.

Thanks again to Matt Smith for this hand.