Strategy for defence
WHEN you are defending it is usually a good thing if your Aces can win tricks containing a King or Queen belonging to the other side — it seems a waste if they just gather twos and three!
The trouble is that you will not always be doing the right thing. The hand below is an instructive example of what I mean.
Playing five-card majors, South dealt at game all and opened One Heart. North raised to Two Hearts, East overcalled with Three Clubs and South ended the bidding with a jump to Four Hearts.
West led the six of Clubs to the four; King and Queen and East, after some thought, switched to the Queen of Spades rather than his singleton Diamond. Declearer won on the table and led a trump to the King.
That was too tempting a bail for West to resist. He took his Ace, cashed the King of Spades and led another Spade which South ruffed.
Next came just one more round of trumps bsnd and was unable to trump, South was home and dry. He took a ruffing finesse in Diamonds to pick up West’s Jack, came to hand with a Spade ruff and drew the last trump to make ten tricks.
It is worth noting that South lost nothing by playing on Diamonds before drawing the last trump — if East had held it and was also short in Diamonds, the contract could never be made.
Of course, if the Jack of Diamonds had fallen on an early round, South would have gone back to trumps.