Al The Plumber

#20101214: PLAY OR DEFEND OR… ?

This hand was played recently at IMPs.  It has been rotated because only South is allowed to be the declarer in write-ups.

I know that some of you are aware of it, so I will not present it for discussion for now.  If you wish, you may send comments to me.  Then I’ll coagulate them with my summary of what I think is the answer.


K 8 7

A 9 6 4

J 9 5 4

10 3


10 9

10 5 3 2

A K 2

A 8 7 6


Q J 6

8 7

Q 10 8 7 6

J 9 4


A 5 4 3 2



K Q 5 2

S is in 4 .

Assuming doubledummy play by everyone, even those who are not dummies, would you:

  1. Play
  2. Defend
  3. Call Regis and/or Meredith
  4. Ask the audience
  5. Abstain. You don’t care what anyone says. This hand could not come up in real life. (In addition, how low can card players get? South’s spades are obviously rejects from a REAL poker crapshoot in which such crap didn’t count as a straight flush.)

Those eventually choosing to either play or defend only get .0000000001% credit for the correct answer. The rest depends on your explanation.

As per some questions:

1. The bidding is irrelevant because it is a doubledummy problem.

South is in 4 , West is on lead, and everyone can see all the cards.

2. If you choose to PLAY (i.e., declare), you must be able to make it on any lead & any defense. You can play any way that you want to, but so can the defense — as long as it is legal! 🙂

If you choose to DEFEND, you can have West’s opening lead be anything that you want — but you can’t change it later! You can play any way that you want to, but so can the declarer.

3. NO! There are no UNDO’s allowed once you screw it up by your first approach!


Please be specific regarding what you would do to counter any plays by the opponents, until you get to a point where the hand is clearly over one way or another. Thanks.

Go to it!



Wow! I’ve got a lotta entries to go over. I guess I shudda charged a buck each for this “contest”. I cudda made a million bux! But maybe nobody wudda entered then. Oh well. Shudda, cudda, wudda — that’s the story of bridge.

Anyway, it’s still free. Soooo, new entrants: please send your replies before the price goes up. I’ll try to summarize everything Wed. nite or so — if I’m not exhausted from overreading & overbidding. BTW, I won’t connect any names to comments, unless a “contestant” says it is OK to do so. However, later we can have a free-for-all re my conclusions.


Al, the Plumber of the Depths of Lunacy!


Linda LeeDecember 15th, 2010 at 6:28 pm

Hi Al and welcome to bridge blogging. I sent you my solution and I still think I got it right.

Anyway, my answer is DEFEND and I will say no more until other people have a chance to try it.

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