North-South vulnerable. South deals.
x9 3 2
uK 6 5 4 2
wA 8 7
xA K 10 7 6 4 xJ 5
vK 9 8 6 vJ 10 5 4 3
w4 2 wQ 10 9 6 5
uQ J 10 9 8 3
wK J 3
SOUTH WEST NORTH EAST
2u 2x 4u Pass
Opening lead: King of x
It is easy to overlook the obvious when you are defending a hand. Consider this deal from a major pair event.
East-West have a cheap sacrifice against four hearts. However, West decided that her defensive values gave her a chance to beat the opponents’ game. How would you defend after you win the first two tricks with the king and ace of spades?
Suppose you lead a third spade. Declarer ruffs, crosses to the ace of clubs and takes the club finesse, which wins. South then clears clubs by cashing the king and exits with a trump.
You win the ace, but now either have to lead away from the king of diamonds up to declarer’s queen or give a ruff-sluff. Either way, the contract is safe.
West did not give declarer a chance to display her technique. At trick three she cashed her ace of hearts before leading a third spade.
The possibility of an endplay had evaporated and she could sit back and wait to score the king of diamonds for the setting trick.
2013 Tribune Media Services