Bridge Defense – What’s Going On? Article Five



Dealer: S
Vul: E-W

North
K Q 8 7
4 3
K J 10 7
K J 10
 
     East
2
J 9 7 5
A Q 6
A 8 6 5 4
     
Lead: 2
Bidding:
 
WEST NORTH EAST SOUTH
      2
Pass 4 Pass  Pass
 Pass      
       

 

By Mike Lawrence

West leads the heart two to your jack and declarer’s ace. Before touching trumps declarer leads the queen of clubs. West plays the two. Do you take this trick? Not yet. Partner should be giving you count. The two shows three clubs. If West had two or four clubs, he would play a higher club to show an even number. Declarer continues clubs and you take the ace. You would like to get partner in to lead diamonds. How do you do that?



Dealer: E
Vul: None
North
K Q 8 7
4 3
K J 10 7
K J 10
 
West
A3
Q 10 8 2
9 8 3 2
7 3 2
   East
2
J 9 7 5
A Q 6
A 8 6 5 4
  South
J 10 9 6 5 4
A K 6
5 4
Q 9
 
 
WEST NORTH EAST SOUTH
      2
Pass 4 Pass Pass
Pass      
       

Return a spade to partner’s ace. For this to be right it means that declarer opened 2S on a jack-high suit. The clues say he did. The only way a heart return can be right is if partner has the king of hearts. Remember which heart declarer won the first trick with? It was the ace. The only way partner can have the king of hearts is if he also has the queen. That holding can’t exist. Partner would lead the king from that holding. The logical conclusion is that declarer has the ace AND king of hearts. South also has the queen of clubs, so unless declarer has miscounted his points, he shouldn’t have the ace of spades. Return your spade and partner will return a diamond as the only hope for the defense.

Down one. This hand points out an important fact of bridge. Your opponents don’t always play the way you think the game should be played. The South hand is hardly an ideal weak two bid and many players will pass it. At the table, these things do happen and if you don’t work it out you get a big fat zero. It doesn’t give you much solace to think that you lost a top to a bad bid. That’s what will happen if you return a heart. Declarer will win, ruff a heart in dummy, discard a diamond, and will concede a trump at his leisure.

 

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