I always enjoy coming across hands on which the only defence is to break one of the ‘rules’ that seem to be part and parcel of the game.
How much more important it is to think clearly and be able to recognise the exceptions! Although the following type of play has been written about before, it still seems difficult to find at the table.
East dealt at love all and opened One Heart. South passed and West raised to Two Hearts. Perhaps a pre-emptive raise might have proved more effective for now North came in with a double and North-South bid their way to Four Spades.
West led the Jack of Hearts and declarer ruffed on the table. The King of Spades lost to the Ace and it was clear to West that the only hope of defeating the contract lay in establishing two Club tricks before declarer could get dummy’s diamonds going.
So he switched to the Jack of Clubs (the higher card of a doubleton, as we all are taught) but it was not good enough. The King lost to the Ace — it does not help East to duck — but now there was no safe way for the defenders to continue Clubs. In the fullness of time South’s two losing Clubs went away on dummy’s diamonds.
Try the effect of switching to the
three of Clubs rather than the Jack. As before, East takes his Ace but
the difference is that he can now safely return a Club. West’s Jack
forces the Queen and when East gains the lead with the Ace of diamonds
he can cash the ten of Clubs for the setting trick.