I've been playing a lot on Bridge Base Online lately because I am too cheap to pay the $99 for OKbridge anymore. The quality of play is much better on OKb, but you know the saying about beggars and choosers.


IMPS       North      
Both VulJ753
Q4
WestQT754East
K2AQ4
KT932J865
8632SouthKJ
T6SAQT986KJ8753
HA7
DA9
C942


You, South, are playing 4S and West leads a diamond. Upon winning the ace, what do you do?




This is a disgusting hand in that the defense's honors are all badly placed for you. A lesson hand couldn't be concocted much better. I think the best line is to cash the SA (the 2-1 split being 78%), and then exit a diamond. East can return a heart, but you win the HA, cross to the CA (shunning the finesse), and lead a top diamond from dummy, pitching a heart. So it is really just a simple loser-on-loser play, except the finesses tempt so many losing lines. If, for example, you rely on one of the black suit finesses working, that's "only" 75%. Note that a club lead would have been fatal.

On to the second hand.


IMPS       North      
None Vul764
AKQ94
WestAKQEast
K883JT93
T28763
JT87South643
QT742SAQ5265
HJ5
D952
CAKJ9


You open a 15-17 1NT, and West bids 2C, showing one major or both minors. (Who ever said this was a game of judgement?) Your partner huddles and bids 6NT. West huddles and leads the DJ. Now what?




This one is cute, albeit a little double-dummy. All you have to do is cash your red-suit winners and West is caught in a strip squeeze. A strip squeeze on BBO! That's like catching fish with a cannon.


       North      
764
A
West--East
K883Immaterial
--
--South
QT74SAQ2
H--
D--
CAKJ


You cash the last heart and pitch your S2. If West pitches a spade, you have two spade winners. If he pitches a club, you endplay him in the suit of your choice. Fun stuff.