Bridge Defense – What’s Going On? Article Ten



Dealer: E
Vul: N-S

North
A Q 8
A K 4
K Q 8 3
♣ 8 6 4
 
West
10 9 5 4
10 9 7 3
9 5
J 10 9
 
     
Lead: J
Bidding:
 
WEST NORTH EAST SOUTH
    Pass 1NT*
Pass 6NT Pass Pass
Pass      
       

* 1NT – 15-17

By Mike Lawrence

The only good thing for West is that he has an easy lead in the jack of clubs. East plays the two and South wins the king. Declarer starts diamonds by playing the ace and leading the four to dummy’s king. East follows with the two and ten. Declarer leads a third diamond to his jack as East follows again with the six. You have to find a discard now and another one on the next diamond. Do you have any idea what you will discard? Why?



Dealer: E
Vul: N-S
North
A Q 8
A K 4
K Q 8 3
♣ 8 6 4
 
West
10 9 5 4
10 9 7 3
9 5
J 10 9
  East
K J 3 2
J 5
10 6 2
7 5 3 2
  South
7 6
Q 8 6 2
A J 7 4
A K Q
 
 
WEST NORTH EAST SOUTH
    Pass 1NT*
Pass 6NT Pass Pass
Pass      
       

* 1NT – 15-17

You can afford to throw your spades, but not your hearts. Partner has given you the clue. Did you notice it? When South played three rounds of diamonds, East played, in order, the two, ten, and six. East has gone out of his way to play diamonds in an abnormal sequence. Assuming your partner does not play random cards and that he is trying to help you defend, you can infer that partner has something in spades. You should keep your hearts and give up the spade suit.

Declarer will try the hearts, but when they don’t divide, he will have to fall back on the spade finesse, which will lose. Down one. If West had discarded a heart, 6NT would have made. The key was East’s play of the ten of diamonds at trick two. It was an abnormal play which carried a message.

West had to notice it and then he had to interpret it correctly.

East’s cards told West he could abandon spades in order to save hearts. Because East WENT OUT OF HIS WAY to signal in diamonds, West was entitled to look for a message. If East had played diamonds in normal order, that is 2, 6, 10, there would have been no message intended.

This really was a nice defense. West has one point yet he has the setting trick if he can just tell what it is. Well done.

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