by Jonathan Mestel
Several years ago at the Cambridge club, a good but unfamiliar
partner opened 1. I held primary
support and a spade singleton and despite not having discussed
it with partner, elected to splinter with 3. 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 3 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) 1, (b) 2, (c) 3, (d) 4, (e) 5, (f) 6 and (g) 7 on a non-trump
lead? To clarify what "worst" means, a holding of A8 is better than KQ,
but worse than 432.
The answers may be found