June 2019 Challenge Hand


This month's Challenge hand would be an easy one if trumps broke 3-2, but...they DON'T. The big question is - can you move to a successful Plan B when you discover that Plan A doesn't work?

Here's a clue: Declarer has to ruff two spades in their hand and reduce their trump length to the same as right-hand opponent's. Then cash diamonds ending in dummy for the trump coup.

As always, 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 

Once you have attempted this hand, scroll down to watch the walkthrough video.

Hand Review


Hand Explanation

Bidding: The bidding is a straightforward auction to game in hearts.

Play: At first it looks as if there are ten easy tricks, but when the trumps break 4-1, you need to move to Plan B.
That involves reducing your trumps to the same number that East still has, ie two after you drew two round to see how they broke). The way to do that is to ruff two spades, using the diamond suit as entries to do that. Now when you play a spade, East will be forced to ruff (no other cards left) and you will overruff, and that way make ten tricks.

Wow! Thanks to Matt Smith for this hand.