Menu Vu-Bridge | Play like a Champion!

 IMPish Adventures by Ben Norton

IMPish Adventures

Take the South chair and try your hand at these five challenging lead problems, all of them from teams events scored by IMPs.

Question 1

  Your Hand
 K 6
 A K 9 7
 9 5 4
 8 6 5 3
Q: 1 - What are your thoughts?


 Your choice:
A: A. Yes, East will have a Heart stopper for his 2NT bid, but this shouldn’t faze you. Since opener has shown length in the black suits and you have an unpromising Diamond holding over declarer’s length, you need to set about establishing tricks in your own suit.

It’s likely that you’ll shift at trick two, but at least you’ll have retained the lead and will know which suit to broach. What’s more, cashing a top Heart will make the defense easier for partner. Any other lead would be too unilateral, putting all your eggs in one basket.

Your result so far:
Open Question

Question 2

  Your Hand
 J 6
 10 9 8 6 4
 7 6
 K 10 5 4
Q: 2 - What will you try?


 Your choice:
A: 4. With nine Hearts between you, it seems unlikely that your side will be able to profit from attacking the suit. Two rounds almost certainly won’t stand up, and if partner doesn’t have the Ace you may give away a vital tempo. What’s more, even if partner does have the A, by leading one you might be setting up a winner for declarer.

No, you won’t get much nutrition from the Hearts and it’s unlikely that you need to cash them straight off the bat anyway. Kick off with a Club instead, in an attempt to set up and cash your tricks there. It’s partner’s suit after all.

Your result so far:
Open Question

Question 3

  Your Hand
 9 8 4 3
 Q 10
 A 9 5
 A 8 5 2
Q: 3 - Your opponents bid swiftly to 4. What do you make of this?


 Your choice:
A: A. Your Heart holding represents a big danger. With both honors falling doubleton, declarer may be able to run the suit after drawing trumps, which he’ll presumably play for no losers. You must be aggressive and take your tricks in the minor suits, but underleading one of your Aces would put all of your eggs in one basket. You must try an Ace, but which one?

The A is best, since you have more cards there. This means you’re less likely to blow a crucial trick in the suit, because declarer rates to be shorter in Clubs than Diamonds. What’s more, should partner have a miracle holding in one of the minors, such as K J 10 so you can pick up declarer’s Queen, you’d rather have that position in Diamonds, where your winners won’t be ruffed away as quickly.

If both your minors were headed by the King, you’d lead a Diamond instead, since the extra factor of being able to retain the lead and decide what to do at trick two wouldn’t be present.

Your result so far:
Open Question

Question 4

  Your Hand
 J 7 4 2
 A 9 7 6
 6 3
 K 10 9
Q: 4 - A tricky one this.


 Your choice:
A: 2. East is unlimited, indicating an active defense, and he no doubt has the Spades well held, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attack the suit. Say East has A K x, your side could still manufacture two tricks. There’s little future in Diamonds, although that could be a good passive option, and a Club would be too dangerous, while reaping little reward since you don’t have long cards to set up.

A Heart is possible. After all, declarer rates to have only four of them. However, can it really be necessary to attack them right away? Why not let partner get on lead to play one through the strength? That might save a trick and a tempo. A Spade is your best shot, boasting a good balance between offensive potential and safety.

Your result so far:
Open Question

Question 5

  Your Hand
 J 7 6 2
 8 4
 A 8 4
 K J 5 4
Q: 5 - What’s your poison?

*2 shows a good three-card Heart raise


 Your choice:
A: 4. This is almost a shot in the dark. You can infer very little from partner’s failure to Double 2, for you hold so much in the Club suit yourself, while declarer has a very wide range of hands on this auction. Since East could have extra values and your two small trumps aren’t promising, an active defense is called for.

Underleading the A would be too much of a risk, and a trump would be too passive, while possibly revealing the layout of the suit to declarer should partner have a holding such as Q x x or K J x. Between the black suits, a Spade has much less going for it than a Club. You need partner to have a great deal in Spades for it to do any good. A Club is more appealing, since finding partner with either the Queen or the Ace would be enough for it to work.

Your result so far:
Open Question

Overall Results

Your results:   out of    Average: 

What next? You may enjoy playing our prepared hands series.
More informations on our website:

Rate yourself:

0 - 40% We applaud your effort.
Review the subject and try again. You'll be surprised how much better you'll do.
We're here for you!!
41 - 50% Buy your mentor a cuppa and ask for clarification on the ones you got wrong.
No mentor? Make finding one a priority!
51 - 60% Nice improvement! One more review and you'll have this down solid!
61 - 80% What a good job! All that's left is some fine tuning
Over 80% Wow! It's time for you to become a mentor. Find someone who needs help and share your knowledge!