Both vulnerable. West deals.


x6 4

uA K 3

v7 4

wK Q J 10 9 4


xQ J 10 9 8 x7 2

u8 6 4 u10 5 2

vA J 9 2 vK 10 3

wA w8 7 6 5 3


xA K 5 3

uQ J 9 7

vQ 8 6 5


The bidding:


1x 2w Pass 2NT

Pass 3NT Pass Pass


Opening lead: Queen of x

Successful defense is a partnership venture. It is not only important for the defenders to count their own tricks on defense, but declarer’s as well. Declarer’s known trick count can influence the defense dramatically.

Partner plays the two of spades at trick one and declarer wins the king. At trick two, declarer leads the inevitable club to your ace, partner playing low. What should you play at trick three?

Partner’s play of a low spade has denied an honor. Conclusion: Declarer has two spade tricks. Once your ace of clubs was removed, declarer has five more club tricks staring you in the face, not to mention the ace-king of hearts for at least nine tricks (more if declarer holds the queen of hearts).

Shift to the fourth suit. Your play at trick three is a low diamond — you are hoping to take four tricks in that suit. Partner wins the king and returns the ten, allowing your side to score four diamonds and a club.

Your friend will remember you kindly for years while pocketing the extra coin of the realm won at the club.

2013 Tribune Media Services

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