Mike Lawrence
Mike Lawrence

Wikipedia: Michael Steven Lawrence (born May 28, 1940) is an American bridge player, teacher, theorist, and prolific writer. Lawrence was born in San Francisco. He started playing bridge while he was a chemistry student at the University of California.

In 1968, he was invited by Ira Corn to join the newly formed Dallas Aces team. He formed a partnership with Bobby Goldman, with whom he played a 2/1 game forcing system. They started by winning several North American Bridge Championships and, after a long Italian Blue Team reign, returned the world crown to America by winning the Bermuda Bowls in 1970 and 1971. Lawrence and James Jacoby left the Aces in 1973.

He has written more than twenty books. He received numerous book-of-the-year awards starting with his first book, How to Read Your Opponents’ Cards. He contributed to the theory of 2/1 game forcing systems, and his “2/1 semi-forcing” approach competes with Max Hardy’s “unconditional forcing” approach. Together, they wrote the book Standard Bridge Bidding for the 21st Century in 2000. He also helped develop educational bridge software with Fred Gitelman.

In addition to his world championships with the Aces, Lawrence has won another Bermuda Bowl in 1987 in partnership with Hugh Ross along with  teammates Hamman, Wolff, Martel and Stansby.

IMPs Dealer South. N/S Vul

A Q J 8 6
J 10
K J 6
A K 9
K 10 7 3
A 6 3
A Q
Q 6 5 3
West North East South
1NT
Pass 21 Pass 2
Pass 3 Pass 3
Pass 4NT2 Pass 5
Pass 7 End
  1. Transfer to spades.
  2. RKCB (Roman Key Card Blackwood)

Opening Lead: K

South opened 1NT and got transferred to spades. North’s forcing 3 bid was intended to see if South had spade support. There after, South basically answered questions until North settled in 7.

West led the K. South has twelve easy tricks. A thirteenth trick will may be a squeeze. Should West have four clubs along with his Q, he will be squeezed. The way to do this is to win the heart, draw trump, run diamonds, and run the rest of the trumps. At trick ten, you lead clubs and hope that something good has happened. This is how a careless expert would play the hand.

How should a carefull expert play the hand?

A Q J 8 6
J 10
K J 6
A K 9
9 5 2
K Q 8
8 7 4 3 2
J 10
4
9 7 5 4 2
10 9 5
8 7 4 2
K 10 7 3
A 6 3
A Q
Q 6 5 3

The careful declarer will note that in addition to the squeeze or a 3-3 break in clubs, there is a small miracle in clubs that you can check out before committing yourself. Win the heart, draw trump, and play the A and the K. If the J-10 drop, you have four club tricks. Cash the nine and come to your hand in order to cash the queen, getting rid of your heart loser in the process. If you forget to play the two high clubs early, you will discover at trick eleven that the J and the 10 have dropped, but it doesn’t help you. This is the two-card en position on the club suit.

9
8 7
Q 6

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