Are you feeling inspired as East on this month’s 3NT? Partner leads ♣ 5, dummy playing low and you winning ♣ K. What do you lead at trick two? (1) I much prefer Two No Trumps with this balanced hand – you would end up declaring Three No Trumps and I’d be surprised if the winning defence was found. The other reason why I wouldn’t open 2 ♠ is that I like to play Weak Twos – they happen far more often. (2) Negative response to a Strong Two – up
to seven points. At the table, East woodenly returned ♣ 2. Declarer won dummy’s ♣ A and led ♥ Q. West won ♥ A and did the best he could, switching to ♦ 8. However, declarer played low from dummy and all East could do was win ♦ J and cash ♦ A. Four tricks to EastWest; nine to North-south: game made.
Say East, realising the futility of continuing clubs into dummy’s ♣ A J, switches to ♦ Q, forcing out ♦ K. Better – but not good enough. After winning dummy’s
♥ Q that follows with ♥ A, West leads over his second diamond, but after scoring ♦ A J, declarer’s ♦ 10 wins the fourth round and again the game is made.
Have you spotted the winning defence now? East must switch to ♦ 3 at trick two – there’s no need to waste ♦ Q when it is partner who will be leading the second diamond. Declarer wins ♦ 3 cheaply and leads a heart, but West wins ♥ A and leads his second diamond through dummy, enabling East to win ♦ A Q J. Five defensive tricks and down one. ANDREW ROBSON