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. Both Vul

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

Opening lead: 6

The bidding was eventful. North responded with 2NT. He hoped that South would bid 3NT. If this happened, North intended to bid 4NT, not as a Blackwood, but as a natural bid showing 18-19 balanced pionts. This is a useful treatment which deserves a better following.

In response to East’s double, West leads the 6.

How do you play? Hint West has a singleton heart.

If you are willing to give up on overtircks, you can just about claim your contract. It requires you to do something which is alien to the majority of players in the world. Here it is. Instead of worrying about your own hand, worry about your dummy. Do this. Win the A. Cash the A and go tu dummy with a trump. Discard a heart on the K. Ruff a diamond in your hand. Give up your heart loser now. This leaves you in hte position of needing only to ruff dummy’s last heart in your hand.

Note that you have to play this way. If you play two clubs first, East will get in with a heart and will play the third trump. Now you will need a miracle. Isn’t it easier to claim than to play it out.

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

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