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 East. N/S Vul

A J 10 J 7 10 9 7 6 3 2 K 7
K 4 2 Q 10 9 8 A Q A Q J 9
West North East South
1 1
Pass 2 Dbl 2
3 3 Pass Pass
This was one of those auctions where everybody bid. East was conservative with his 18 high-card points and with good reason. South’s overcall put a bad light on East’sK and the strong North-South bidding generally warned East that his good hand was not as he originally thought. East did get to double 2and Wesy wisely nudged once, but that was enough bidding for E-W. West led the5 and East won with the J. South played the 4

How should the defense continue?

East can see that South is going to ruff some hearts in dummy. If East defends passively, South will ruff two hearts and later will lose a spade to East’s king, a diamond and two clubs. Not every defense is clear at the table or even in retrospect, but from East’s point of view, if South is going to ruff hearts, perhaps leading trumps is a good idea. East leads a spade to dummy’s jack. Declarer plays a diamond from dummy and East goes right up with the ace, droping declarer’s king.

Should East lead another spade?

The answer is yes. By doing so, he deprives South of two heart ruffs in dummy. If declarer ruffs just one heart in dummy with the A, East gets hisK. That is what actually happened. South ended up with two hearts, one heart ruff in dummy, and five spade tricks. Down one. Play out hte hand with the defense leading two round fo spades and with the defense not leading spades. It looks bad to lead twice fromK, but the upshot is that gains one trick.
A J 10 J 7 10 9 7 6 3 2 K 7
7 5 4 2 J 8 5 4 10 8 6 5 3 K 4 2 Q 10 9 8 A Q A Q J 9
Q 9 8 6 5 3 A K 6 3 K 4 2

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