Using the BridgeComposer View→Next To Play Command

Board 16
West Deals
E-W Vul
J
K Q 7 5
9 7 2
K J 9 8 7
A 10 9 8 7
10 8 3
10 6
A 10 2
N
WE
S
6 5 4
9 4 2
K Q 8 5 3
Q 4
K Q 3 2
A J 6
A J 4
6 5 3
WestNorthEastSouth
PassPassPass1 NT
Pass2 Pass2 
Pass3 NTAll pass 
3 NT by South
Lead:  8

The auction seems reasonable, but can you make 3 NT?

Use the BridgeComposer Board→Double Dummy command to find out.


Board 16
West Deals
E-W Vul
J
K Q 7 5
9 7 2
K J 9 8 7
A 10 9 8 7
10 8 3
10 6
A 10 2
N
WE
S
6 5 4
9 4 2
K Q 8 5 3
Q 4
K Q 3 2
A J 6
A J 4
6 5 3

NS 3N; NS 3; NS 3; NS 2; NS 1; Par +400

WestNorthEastSouth
PassPassPass1 NT
Pass2 Pass2 
Pass3 NTAll pass 
3 NT by South
Lead:  8

The double-dummy makeable contracts (shown just below the diagram) indicate that you can indeed make 3 NT against any defense, but how exactly would you go about that?

The BridgeComposer View→Next To Play command will show you.


Board 16
West Deals
E-W Vul
J
K Q 7 5
9 7 2
K J 9 8 7
A 10 9 8 7
10 8 3
10 6
A 10 2
 
8 
 
6 5 4
9 4 2
K Q 8 5 3
Q 4
K Q 3 2
A J 6
A J 4
6 5 3
3 NT by South
TrickLead2nd3rd4th
1. W 8?  
Won NS=0 EW=0

In BridgeComposer View→Next To Play mode:
• Cards that have already been played are grayed out (West's  8 above).
• The hand (or a suit in the hand) that is next to play is surrounded by a blue rectangle (North's spade suit above).
• Cards that are "optimal plays" (that is, cards that when played will result in winning the most tricks) are shown in green (North's  J above).

(The Next To Play highlighting colors may be customized using the BridgeComposer Edit→Options command, "Colors" tab.)

(Optimal plays are determined "as the cards lie" using the double dummy solver included with BridgeComposer.)

I have also selected BridgeComposer View→Slide Highlighting. In this mode, the cards played to the current trick are shown on the "card table" in the center of the hand diagram, and the number of tricks won so far by each side is shown at the bottom.

So, in BridgeComposer, you would play the  J by double-clicking it (nice play!).

Then, East's spades will be highlighted.

(By the way, this web page was created with the help of the Board→Create Slides command.)


Board 16
West Deals
E-W Vul
J
K Q 7 5
9 7 2
K J 9 8 7
A 10 9 8 7
10 8 3
10 6
A 10 2
J
8 
 
6 5 4
9 4 2
K Q 8 5 3
Q 4
K Q 3 2
A J 6
A J 4
6 5 3
3 NT by South
TrickLead2nd3rd4th
1. W 8J? 
Won NS=0 EW=0

All of East's spades are shown as optimal plays. This means that, for double-dummy play, the outcome will be the same no matter which spade is played.

Of course, in actual play, the card to be played should be selected with the partnership's carding agreements in mind. If the agreement is to show upside-down count in this situation, high from three is correct.

So, (in BridgeComposer) double-click the  6.

By the way, if you change your mind, you can back up using Edit→Undo.


Board 16
West Deals
E-W Vul
J
K Q 7 5
9 7 2
K J 9 8 7
A 10 9 8 7
10 8 3
10 6
A 10 2
J
86
 
6 5 4
9 4 2
K Q 8 5 3
Q 4
K Q 3 2
A J 6
A J 4
6 5 3
3 NT by South
TrickLead2nd3rd4th
1. W 8J6?
Won NS=0 EW=0

A low spade from South is indicated. Double-click one (in BridgeComposer).


Board 16
West Deals
E-W Vul
J
K Q 7 5
9 7 2
K J 9 8 7
A 10 9 8 7
10 8 3
10 6
A 10 2
 
  
 
6 5 4
9 4 2
K Q 8 5 3
Q 4
K Q 3 2
A J 6
A J 4
6 5 3
3 NT by South
TrickLead2nd3rd4th
1. W 8J62
2. N?   
Won NS=1 EW=0

At trick two, the lead is in dummy. Leading a heart or a low diamond next is indicated.

This time around, I chose to lead the  2.


Board 16
West Deals
E-W Vul
J
K Q 7 5
9 7 2
K J 9 8 7
A 10 9 8 7
10 8 3
10 6
A 10 2
2
  
 
6 5 4
9 4 2
K Q 8 5 3
Q 4
K Q 3 2
A J 6
A J 4
6 5 3
3 NT by South
TrickLead2nd3rd4th
1. W 8J62
2. N 2?  
Won NS=1 EW=0

Again, East's choice does not affect the end result.

If East plays low, South can win the  J. But if East splits his honors, South will win the Ace, eventually return to dummy, and lead again toward the  J. East will then again have to decide whether to play low or high; either way, the  J will win a trick sooner or later.

This time, I chose to play the  Q.


Board 16
West Deals
E-W Vul
J
K Q 7 5
9 7 2
K J 9 8 7
A 10 9 8 7
10 8 3
10 6
A 10 2
2
 Q
 
6 5 4
9 4 2
K Q 8 5 3
Q 4
K Q 3 2
A J 6
A J 4
6 5 3
3 NT by South
TrickLead2nd3rd4th
1. W 8J62
2. N 2Q? 
Won NS=1 EW=0

Winning the  A is optimal!


Board 16
West Deals
E-W Vul
J
K Q 7 5
9 7 2
K J 9 8 7
A 10 9 8 7
10 8 3
10 6
A 10 2
2
 Q
A
6 5 4
9 4 2
K Q 8 5 3
Q 4
K Q 3 2
A J 6
A J 4
6 5 3
3 NT by South
TrickLead2nd3rd4th
1. W 8J62
2. N 2QA?
Won NS=1 EW=0

Board 16
West Deals
E-W Vul
J
K Q 7 5
9 7 2
K J 9 8 7
A 10 9 8 7
10 8 3
10 6
A 10 2
 
  
 
6 5 4
9 4 2
K Q 8 5 3
Q 4
K Q 3 2
A J 6
A J 4
6 5 3
3 NT by South
TrickLead2nd3rd4th
1. W 8J62
2. N 2QA6
3. S?   
Won NS=2 EW=0

For trick three, the lead is in your hand.

View→Next To Play mode shows that either hearts or clubs should be played now for the optimal result.

Continue (in BridgeComposer) by double-clicking optimal (green) cards throughout the play, and you will arrive at the double-dummy result: nine tricks for 3 NT, making.


Board 16
West Deals
E-W Vul
J
K Q 7 5
9 7 2
K J 9 8 7
A 10 9 8 7
10 8 3
10 6
A 10 2
N
WE
S
6 5 4
9 4 2
K Q 8 5 3
Q 4
K Q 3 2
A J 6
A J 4
6 5 3

NS 3N; NS 3; NS 3; NS 2; NS 1; Par +400

WestNorthEastSouth
PassPassPass1 NT
Pass2 Pass2 
Pass3 NTAll pass 
3 NT by South
TrickLead2nd3rd4th
1. W 8J62
2. N 2QA6
3. S 32K4
4. N 59A8
5. S J372
6. S 610Q4
7. N K 3 5 10
8. N 7K410
9. E 5QA 7
10. W A8Q6
11. W 10 94K
12. S J 795
13. S 39 J 8
Made 3 — NS +400

Now, if you like, you may use the BridgeComposer Board→Clear Play command to start over. In this manner, you can explore alternate lines of play and defense, and the effect of playing non-optimal cards.