Friday, April 1, 2011

Jennbridge: 2 on Defense

It was a good day at the club as Larry Hansen and I held all the cards, bid and made nearly all our games and a slam, and posted a 71.8% game.  Here are a couple of the few hands we defended.

♠ KQ10x
♣ xx

I passed, LHO opened 1 club, partner jumped to 2S and RHO bid 3H.  I bid 3S, LHO bid 4H and all passed.  I led the king of spades and saw this dummy:

♠ —

♣ —
♠ 6
10 9 x
A K x x
♣ A x x x x
♠ —

♣ —
♠ K Q 10 x
K 8 7 x
x x x
♣ x x

Larry played the nine of spades which, looking at the singleton spade in dummy, I interpreted as a suit preference for diamonds.  I duly shifted to a diamond and declarer won the ace on the board.  He called for the 10 of hearts, partner followed with the queen and declarer won the ace.  Although I had noted the heart spots when I saw the dummy, I now inspected them even more closely.

Declarer continued with a heart to my king and, with only the 9 of hearts on the board I saw that I would be entitled to a second trump trick if I forced the dummy to ruff.  I therefore played another spade and we scored a spade, 2 hearts and a club. Beating the contract was worth 83% of the matchpoints. 

Always take note of the spots, or intermediate cards, particularly in the trump suit!

♠ KQx
♣ 10xx

While I was looking at this uninspiring collection, RHO opened 1D, LHO bid 1H and RHO rebid 1NT.  The bidding went pass, pass to partner who balanced with 2C.  The bidding went pass, pass again and RHO thought for a while and bid 2NT.

Partner's bid got me off to the best lead of a club.  In with a diamond, I returned a club and declarer couldn't come to 8 tricks.  Down 1 was a tie for top.  Nearly half the field scored 120 which could happen, especially if I made the unfortunate lead of a diamond.  Larry held 8-10 points including QJxxx of clubs and the ace of spades.

Don't be afraid to balance.  It can pay off in more ways than one:  you can buy the contract and improve the score, or you can get partner off to the right lead if you defend.

See you at the table!

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