|MONTHLY HAND||SEP 2000|
THIS MONTH'S TOPICS:
Suit Preference Signal
Playing Bridge is not only bidding and playing
the hand. It is also Defense: preventing the Declarer from making the contract.
Without doubt, it is the most difficult part of Bridge. And part of defense
|South with 14 High Card Points (HCP); a
doubleton; and a five card major opens 1 .
North's response is based on previous partnership agreements. A bid
of 3 usually shows
a 4 card Heart suit. A 2
bid is descriptive and is forcing for one round. (Some teams play
this forcing to game.)
South rebids 2 No Trump showing a minimum opener (13 - 15 points) and a fairly balanced hand. North with 14 points (HCP) knows that the combined point count is in the Game Zone of 26 points. 14 + 13 = 27. North goes to game in Hearts.
|What are the worst opening leads against
a suit contract? Leading an Ace (without the King) or under leading an
Ace. Both leads equally horrendous. So the A
or the 2 should
not be led. In this particular hand a Diamond lead allows Declarer's K
A common beginner error is to lead the A . This is because a person wants to take a quick trick. (Where's the rush?) Leading a high honor which is not at the top of a sequence, allows your opponent's high card in that suit to become a winner.
Unless it's at the top of a sequence, save your Ace to capture Kings and Queens.
A trump lead is possible but a bit too passive. And leading a Club, the Dummy's bid suit, is suicidal.
The best lead, both attacking and safe, is from the top of a sequence. West puts the
Q on the table.
|Dummy comes down. Count losers before playing
a Spade. A good plan is based on counting, and in a suit contract Declarer
counts losers. So let's do it: (Assume good defense and all the Finesses
0 Spades; 0 Hearts; 3 Diamonds; and 1 Club. That is 4 losers; one too many to make the hand. What to do? Leave the room? No. Let's examine the losers.
PLAN; Losing the Finesse in Clubs will only generate 1 loser. The problem is Diamonds. If East has the A there will be 2 losers in that suit. But what if West has the A ? 3 losers. What to do? DUMP, TRUMP or FINESSE? Answer: DUMP. The losing Diamond can be DUMPED on a winning Club. Note: the imbalance of 4 Clubs opposite 3 Clubs is what makes DUMPING possible.
So the overall plan is to pull trump and set up the Clubs. This involves taking the Club Finesse.
But what could happen on the way to victory? An opponent can win the Club finesse and proceed to take 3 Diamond tricks. Instead of victory, defeat. This could only happen if East wins the Finesse and returns the Q . East is the Danger Hand and must never be given the lead. Note: as long as West is on lead the K is safe.
The Club Finesse must be taken in such a way that even if it lost, East will not be on lead. That is, the Finesse can only lose to West. (The Club Finesse is a Two Way Finesse.)
PLAY: Win the opening lead with the K . (Keep the A as possible entry for the Clubs.) In most suit contracts Declarer should pull trump as soon as possible. And since trumps are not needed in Dummy, pull trump.
Play the 2 and win with the K and extract the rest of the opponents' trump, winning the third trump in Dummy.
Now for the Club Finesse: play the J and let it ride. If East has the Q and covers, naturally win with the A . If the Finesse loses West will be on lead and the
K will be safe.
Declarer wins any return and plays Clubs and DUMPS a losing Diamond. Thus the Declarer lost 1 Club and 2 Diamond, making 4 Hearts.
|The Defense is pretty straightforward. However, there is a play that West can make that could set the contract. See the above Question. Of course it can backfire and and South will make an over trick. But well worth the try.|
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