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FEB_08_EB p09 Bakhshi 14/1/08 12:23 pm Page 9



‘frozen’ suits

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David Bakhshi directly at

GEORGE Jarvis from Sheffield writes:

I have overheard some players at my club

discussing ‘frozen suits’, but am unclear what a) J74

they are talking about. What is meant by N

frozen suits, and what does one do with them? K 10 5 W E A983


David Bakhshi

Dear George, Q62

While the term ‘frozen suit’ may not be

one that you are used to, I suspect that the c) YES. Declarer can only make one trick

ideas involved will be relatively familiar to b) AJ5 as long as West saves his ace to beat South’s

you. I shall attempt to show you how they N king. Declarer will still make just one trick

work with a few examples. Q863 W


E K94 if East leads the suit, but if West can be

forced to lead the suit, then South will win

What is a frozen suit? 10 7 2 a second trick.

d) NO. Whether the suit is led by a

As declarer or defender, one often defender or declarer, two tricks can be

encounters suit combinations in which the c) Q76 made by finessing West for the queen

partnership that first plays the suit must do N (assuming that South has sufficient entries


so to their detriment and their opponents’ A954 S

J 10 3 to lead the suit from hand twice). Declarer

advantage. The identification of such will only be held to one trick if he starts

‘frozen’ suit combinations is a key stage K82 the suit from the North hand.

when building one’s recognition of the e) YES. Declarer can only win one trick if

potential for an elimination and end-play. he attacks the suit (assuming that West

One of the skills required involves being d) K 10 4 covers South’s card). If West leads the suit,

able to judge the best point at which to lose N

a second trick can be won by covering

the lead to result in the most beneficial play Q753 W E A82 West’s card. If East leads the suit, a second


by the opposing side. For example: trick can also be won as long as South

J96 guesses to play low if East leads any card

lower than the jack.


N e) A 10 What does one do

Q8 W


E A 10 N

if one recognises a suit as

K874 W E J9532 being ‘frozen’?



Q6 As one becomes familiar with combinations

such as a), b), c), and e), the next step is to

In this two-card ending, if South has to try to engineer situations in which the

tackle this suit, he will be unable to win a a) YES. If declarer has to lead the suit, he opponents can be made to lead the suit first.

trick (assuming that West covers South’s will win no tricks, assuming the second When playing with a trump suit, this is

jack with his queen). However, if either player plays low. However, if either defender often achieved by eliminating the potential

East or West is forced to lead the suit, leads the suit, declarer will make a trick for an opponent to lead any other suit and

South will be able to win a trick (if West is assuming he follows the same principle. typically requires declarer to have at least

leading, South makes a trick by covering b) YES. If declarer leads the suit, he will only one trump left in each hand. In a no-trump

the card that West leads). win one trick, assuming that each defender contract, similar principles apply, except

only uses his honour to beat an honour in that declarer will need to be in a position

Are the following the dummy or declarer’s hand. If either where he can afford to lose the lead without

suit combinations ‘frozen’? defender leads the suit, declarer will be able then losing more tricks than his contract

to win a second trick. This will come by will allow for. If this is possible, having taken

In each case, South being the declarer, force if East leads the suit, or by playing low the tricks that they can, the defenders will

assess how many tricks can be won and then later finessing the jack if West be forced to attack the remaining suit to

depending on which player starts the suit. leads the suit. declarer’s advantage. February 2008 English Bridge 9


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