Bridge Defense – What’s Going On? Article Seven



Dealer: E
Vul: N-S

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

By Mike Lawrence

West leads the five of hearts to your ace. South follows with the jack. What do you think is happening? Did partner lead a singleton heart? Or was partner just making a neutral lead? What is your plan?

The five of hearts is surely a singleton.

Declarer has made a falsecard, attempting to throw you off the track. Consider the alternatives. If that isn’t a singleton heart, it has to be from the 875, these being the missing hearts. Would West really lead a heart from this holding? Hard to believe that this is his best lead.

You should play partner for a singleton heart for two reasons. First, it doesn’t make sense for partner to lead a heart if it isn’t a singleton. Secondly, if partner has a singleton heart, it will be easy to set 4S if partner has either minor suit ace to cash. Just return a heart and give partner a ruff.

Is that all there is to this hand?



Dealer: E
Vul: N-S
North
A J 7 3
K Q 9 6 4
K Q 3
8
 
West
9 6
5
♦ 10 6 5 4
A Q J 9 5 2
  East
K 2
A 10 3 2
♦ 8 7 2
♣ 10 6 4 3
  South
Q 10 8 5 4
J 8 7
A J 9
K 7
 
 
 WEST  NORTH EAST  SOUTH
    Pass   Pass
3  Double  4  4
Pass  Pass   Pass  
       

No.

You must be careful. If you carelessly return the two or three of hearts, West may decide you have a club entry. Remember, you did raise clubs. Your partner doesn’t know you have the king of spades and he might underlead the ace of clubs hoping for a second heart ruff. Partner will be entitled to do this because he will read a small heart as suit preference for clubs. Don’t embarrass partner. Return the ten for him to ruff.

Look at this hand from West’s point of view. West can see a way to beat 4S if East has the king of clubs, which is likely given East’s club raise. BUT, if East returns the ten of hearts, that is clearly a suit preference for diamonds.

West will take the ace of clubs and will lead a diamond to East’s “ace”. East won’t have it, but when he takes the setting trick with the king of spades, West will probably forgive him.

TAKING CARE OF PARTNER

This is known as taking care of partner. He will appreciate it. NOTE West’s third seat 3C bid. An excellent tactic in third seat. Give West credit for enterprise.

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