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150. March 6, 2000 : SHARP DEFENSE

Dealer: South
Vul: N-S

North

A
10 7 5
A Q J
A K 10 8 7 4

 

West

East

 

10 4 2
K 9 8 2
10 7 6
J 9 5





 

South

 





 

South

West

North

East

 
 

3

Pass

4

End

Let's see how sharp your defense is. You are West, not vulnerable against vulnerable at imps.

Playing fourth best leads, you try the 2. Partner wins the Q, cashes the A and at trick three returns the J, declarer following to all three rounds. How do you defend?

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SOLUTION

Dealer: South
Vul: N-S

North

A
10 7 5
A Q J
A K 10 8 7 4

 

West

East

 

10 4 2
K 9 8 2
10 7 6
J 9 5

J 3
A Q J
9 8 5 4 3
Q 6 2

 

South

 

K Q 9 8 7 6 5
6 4 3
K 2
3

If declarer has seven spades, there can be no hope to of scoring a diamond trick even if partner has the king. If declarer has six spades, it could be right to overtake and return a diamond before before declarer can establish clubs. For example, if declarer has either:

K Q J x x x   x x x   x x   x x

K Q J x x x   x x x   x x x   x,

a diamond switch at trick four is necessary.

But who would open three spades vulnerable against not with either of those hands, and why did partner play the Q instead of the jack at trick one?

May be he was trying to tell you something. Actually partner was trying to tell you that he did not have the K by playing his hearts in unusual fashion. The winning return at trick four is a heart, allowing partner to uppercut with the J, establishing your 10 as the setting trick!

Bridge Today, Jan-Feb 1993, Eddie kantar, p. 19

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