March 4, 2024

Don’t let partner go wrong

Don’t let partner go wrong

It is often said “If you know the correct contract, bid it!”. This week’s tip is the equivalent for the defence – if one defender knows how to defeat the contract he must ensure that there is no mishap…

North Deals
E-W Vul
Q J
K 6 5
K J 10 6 4
A K 6
K 8 5 3 2
9
2
10 8 7 4 3 2
N
W   E
S
A 10 9 4
J 3
A 9 7 5
Q J 5
 
7 6
A Q 10 8 7 4 2
Q 8 3
9
West North East South
  1  Pass 1 
Pass 2 N Pass 4 
Pass Pass Pass

West led  2, clearly a singleton from East’s perspective (why else would he lead dummy’s bid suit?). So, after winning  A, East returned  9. When leading a suit for partner to trump, the Suit Preference Signal is used – a high card asks for partner to return the higher ranking of the other suits. West therefore knew his partner held ♠ A ( 9 was clearly East’s highest remaining ). He trumped  9 and returned ♠ 2. East won ♠ A and paused to reflect. Normally the lead of a low spot card (such as ♠ 2) asks partner to return that suit but East fell for the temptation to lead another  in the hope West could trump again. Disaster! West had no more trumps so declarer could win  Q, draw East’s trumps and discard his second ♠ on a minor suit winner in dummy. Whose fault?
Perhaps East should have respected West’s ♠ 2 lead which theoretically asked for the ♠ return, but West, alone, knew that the correct defence was to cash two rounds of ♠s. He should switch to ♠ K! He retains the lead to play a second ♠ to East’s ♠ A and down goes the contract!

ANDREW’S TIP: If you know how to defeat a contract, do not give partner the chance to do the wrong thing.

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