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. E/W Vul

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

West leads the K and A against 4

East follows with the ten and then signals with the 9. East seems to have the A, so getting a club trick and a heart later will set 4.

What should West do at trick three?

West should lead a heart. If you look at the diagram, you will see why. If West leads a club, South ruff it and then ruffs his Q with dummy’s ace. South can get back to his hand with another club ruff and will go about drawing trump. West gets his K, but that is the end of that.

Note that if West leads a diamond at trick three, South does the same thing, winning in hand and ruffing his spade. Leading third round of spade is also a tempting defense, but South just ruffs it with the ace and goes about the business of getting rid of the trump.

By leading the heart at trick three, West is now able to get in with the K and can give East a spade ruff. That annoying A isn´t in dummy any more to stop this.

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

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