Bridge Defense – What’s Going On? Article Two



Dealer: W
Vul: None

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

By Mike Lawrence

West leads the king and ace of spades. A little surprisingly, South follows both times with the nine and seven. West now leads the six of spades and dummy plays the five. What’s going on? Doesn’t partner have the queen and jack of spades? He did open the bidding and he did rebid them.

What’s up?



Dealer: W
Vul: Both
North
10 5 4 2
A 6 5
K Q
A J 10 5
 
West
A K Q J 6
K 10 7
9 7 2
K 7
  East
8 3
9 3
10 8 6 5 4 3
6 3 2
  South
9 7
Q J 8 4 2
A J
Q 9 8 4
 

Lead: K
Bidding:

WEST NORTH EAST SOUTH
1 Pass Pass 2
2 4 Pass Pass 
Pass       
       
       

West has to have five spades so it is clear he is underleading the QJ when he could just as well have led the queen. Since he could have led the queen, it is clear he wants you to ruff this spade lead. That may mean he is looking for a trump promotion. The nine of hearts isn’t that big a trump, but it is the best you have. Play it and hope partner is doing the right thing.

West has defended well. By leading the six of spades, he woke East up to the necessity of ruffing. Had West led the queen, East would not have thought of ruffing. In fact, if West had led the queen of spades, East should not ruff. West should not lead a high card if he wants his partner to trump. The effect of the actual defense is that declarer has to overruff with the jack of hearts. West now has the heart spots to ensure two heart tricks. Without the “uppercut”, West would have gotten just one trump trick.

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