Learn from bidding and defense
Oscar Wilde wrote, “It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information.”
That isn’t so sad, and what would he have said about fake news?
At the bridge table, in theory there is little useless information, but many players do not draw the necessary conclusions. In today’s deal, not only must one defender use the information available to find the best opening lead, but his partner must apply a key defensive rule. What are the lead and the rule?
From the bidding, West knew that dummy was coming down with four spades, and that declarer had four hearts. The diamonds also looked dangerous. So he wisely chose the club eight, top of nothing.
Declarer has only six top tricks: four spades, one heart and one club. He is going to play on diamonds to generate the extra winners. First, though, he calls for dummy’s club jack.
Now the spotlight moves to East. Suppose he takes the first trick and returns a club. Declarer wins on the board and runs the diamond nine. West wins with the queen and plays another club. South, with a sinking feeling, leads the diamond king. But West has to take the trick and is out of clubs, so the contract makes with an overtrick.
A key defensive rule is that if declarer has two winners in the suit you are trying to establish, make him use one of them at trick one. East must encourage with his club 10 at trick one. Then the play goes: club jack, diamond to the queen, club to the ace, diamond to the ace, and East takes three club tricks for down one.