"We needed a 6-5 trump break, partner"

by Jonathan Mestel

Several years ago at the Cambridge club, a good but unfamiliar partner opened 1d. I held primary support and a spade singleton and despite not having discussed it with partner, elected to splinter with 3s. Unfortunately, partner held a stiff spade also, so he decided I probably had a weak preempt, and passed. Trumps broke badly (7-4), and thus the contract was doomed. Somewhere through the next hand, while I was letting through overtricks in 3NT, it occurred to me that on some hands 3s might have made with a 1-1 "fit" on a non-trump lead. Declarer cashes 7 side winners and cross-ruffs two high trumps.

So, as a space-filler, I pose the following problems: What is the worst combined trump holding with which declarer can make (a) 1s, (b) 2s, (c) 3s, (d) 4s, (e) 5s, (f) 6s and (g) 7s on a non-trump lead? To clarify what "worst" means, a holding of sA8 is better than sKQ, but worse than s432.

The answers may be found here.