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. Neither Vul

10 3
A 7 5 4
J 5 2
K J 8 6
A Q
Q 8 6 3
A 10 3
A 10 9 3
West North East South
1 1NT
Pass 2 Pass 2
Pass 4 Pass Pass
Pass

Opening lead: 2

North-South got to a fair game after East opened 1. West led the2. South knew that this was a singleton for sure. He won in his hand with the10 and played theA and another heart, trying to get the trumps out. East playing theJ first and then theK. A club return let West ruff with the last trump. West returned the8 to East´s king and South’s ace.

At this point, South has lost two tricks and when diamonds proved unmanageable, he lost two more tricks and went don one.

Do you think that South should made 4?

South should make. But he must be very careful. Here is what he must do. South has to take a spade finesse and eliminate the spades before playing theA and a heart. After doing this, East will give West a club ruff, but West will have to give a sluff and a ruff or must lead diamond, either of which gives South the contract. In order to do this, South must win the first trick withK (more club finesses can be taken later).

Take two rounds of spades and now play theA and another heart. As long as heart are 3-2 the contract is safe. If South errs by letting the club finesse come to his hand, he won’t be able to lead to hisQ.

On this hand, South would survive because East has theK-J doubleton. If, however, East started withK-J-10, declarer would take two heart tricks and exit with a club, leaving declarer to lose two diamonds later.

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

 Don’t forget to follow us @