Page 0040


Frozen Suits

Part I

Andrew Kambites If East leads the two, North captures low and declarer tries the ten, losing to

West’s queen with the king and declarer West’s king. East still has the ™Q-9 sitting

can finesse the nine, again making three over dummy’s jack, denying declarer a

THERE is always a danger if you spade tricks. second heart trick.

underlead an isolated honour. If you lead If South leads the eight and West plays If North leads the jack, East covers with

from a suit like ´K-9-4-3-2 you risk low, North must play the king and now the the queen and South takes the ace. West’s

finding Layout 1: queen and jack prevent declarer from ™K-8 still sit over declarer’s ™10-6.

making a third spade trick.

If North leads the six East plays low and Recognising a frozen suit

Layout 1 South must play his ace. Again the queen

´76 and jack prevent declarer from making a This is what makes the heart suit in


third spade trick. Layout 3 frozen: East has the queen,

´K9432 W E ´ J 10 8 If the players are experts the suit in sitting over dummy’s jack. The purpose


Layout 2 may be doomed to rest in limbo, of the queen is to neutralise the jack. The

´AQ5 with nobody prepared to touch it. If an queen should sit there waiting until the

expert declarer needs three spade tricks he jack is played. If East leads a heart, he is

will try to arrange to endplay a defender to releasing the hold his queen has over

You have given away a trick that declarer force him to open up the spades or give a dummy’s jack. The fact that East can see

could not have generated for himself. If ruff-and-discard. the jack in dummy means that even if he

you had known this in advance you might The heart suit in Layout 3 is also frozen: doesn’t know the exact heart layout he

have waited for partner to get the lead and can suspect that the suit might well be

play the suit. This suit is safe for East to frozen.

lead, but not for West. Layout 3 Equally, West’s king is poised over

™J75 declarer’s ten. If West leads a heart, he is

What is a ‘Frozen Suit’? N relinquishing the hold his king has over

™K843 W E ™Q92 declarer’s ten. West cannot see declarer’s


However, there are some suit combina- ten, but may well suspect that this is the

tions for which if any player on either side ™ A 10 6 position.

plays the suit, he concedes a trick. Such a As East can see his queen sitting over

suit combination is called a ‘Frozen Suit’. dummy’s jack whereas West cannot see

Look at the spade suit in Layout 2: If West leads the three, North plays low declarer’s ten, it is clearly easier for the

and declarer captures East’s queen with his defender sitting after dummy to judge

ace. He makes a second heart trick by whether a suit might be frozen.

Layout 2 force. A slight change to the heart suit of Lay-

´ K 10 6 If East leads the two South plays low out 3, giving the diamond suit in Layout 4,


and West must play the king to prevent unfreezes the suit:

´Q753 W E ´J42 dummy’s jack scoring. Now declarer can


make a second heart trick by finessing

´A98 his ten. Layout 4

How about if North leads a heart? t765

Provided the defenders obey the standard N

If West leads the three, North plays low defensive guidelines of second hand tK843 W E tQ92


and declarer captures East’s jack with his playing low or covering an honour with an

ace. Now declarer can finesse dummy’s ten honour, declarer is held to one heart trick. t A J 10

and make three spade tricks. If North leads the five then East plays

40 English Bridge October 2010


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