Bridge Defense – What’s Going On? Article Six



Dealer: N
Vul: None

North
A 6 2
A 9 5
Q J 9 7
Q 9 5
 
West
5 4 3
8 7
A 6 5 4 2
K 7 3
 
     
Lead: ♠5
Bidding:
 
WEST NORTH EAST SOUTH
  1 1 2
2 Pass Pass  4
 Pass Pass Pass  
       

 

By Mike Lawrence

West leads the five of spades. Since West has raised spades, he leads high from three small. If West led the three, East might think West had an honor in the suit. Leading the five won’t suggest a doubleton because West wouldn’t raise with two small. Dummy plays the ace of spades and East plays the queen. Declarer draws trump in two rounds, East following twice. When declarer leads the king of diamonds, you have to decide what to do.



Dealer: N
Vul: None
North
A 6 2
A 9 5
Q J 9 7
Q 9 5
 
West
5 4 3
8 7
A 6 5 4 2
K 7 3
   East
Q J 10 9 8
6 3
8 3
A J 10 4
  South
K 7
K Q J 10 4 2
K 10
8 6 2
 
 
WEST NORTH EAST SOUTH
   1 1 2
2 Pass Pass 4
Pass Pass  Pass  
       

Win the diamond and switch to a club. Partner’s queen of spades is not suit preference of any sort. It is an information play telling you his spades are headed by the QJ. If East had the KQ of spades, he would play a high spot or would discard the king. There is a fine line between suit preference and giving information as done here. If you do decide to “give information” about the quality of your suit, do so as emphatically as possible so as to leave partner no doubt about what’s happening.

At trick one, East could not tell whether West was leading from the 543 or the K75. East’s play of the queen would cater to either holding. Had East played the ten or nine, West could not be blamed for thinking it was an encouraging card. The queen told West what was going on in spades and allowed West to determine the best defense. Once East played the queen, West knew East had the ace of clubs because East needed it for his overcall. Another way for West to look at the problem is this. East’s queen of spades denied the king. Therefore, declarer has it. Declarer is known to have eleven tricks (two spades, six hearts, and three diamonds) if he is given time to get them. West must switch to a club or else.

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