DAILY BRIDGE CLUB
Some deceptive defensive plays give declarer a chance to go wrong. For instance, declarer (South) has K-J-4 in dummy, A-9-3-2 in his hand. He leads to the jack, winning, and takes the king. If West had Q-10-6, he must play the queen, the card he is known to hold, on the king to give declarer a losing option.
Other defensive maneuvers almost compel declarer to fail. Against today’s 3NT, West leads the ten of hearts: queen, king. South ducks twice and wins the third heart. Dummy discards a diamond. If the diamond finesse wins, South can hope for four diamonds, four clubs and a spade. But at Trick Four, he lets the nine of spades ride, hoping (perhaps questionably) for three spades, four clubs, a diamond and a heart.
Finesse: Say East takes the queen and leads a diamond. South must finesse, and he makes his game. But East wins with the ACE of spades and leads a diamond.
Now South will need a crystal ball to succeed. He will take the ace and repeat the spade finesse, and East will win and cash his king of diamonds for down one. Daily question
You hold: ♠ 653 ♥ 109874 ♦ 84 ♣ 9 6 3. Your partner opens 1NT. The next player passes. What do you say?
Answer: I hope you don’t hold hands like this often. Despite your weakness, to pass will usually be wrong. Bid two hearts to sign off (or, if your partnership uses “transfer” responses, bid two diamonds and pass partner’s two hearts). At notrump, your hand will probably be worthless. At hearts, it will furnish a trick or two. South dealer Both sides vulnerable