Join Bridge Winners
Defensive Dilemma
(Page of 7)

Hoping to get settled in starting a long KO match, you are faced with a decision on the 1st board.

Partner and opponents are experts, your partnership is longstanding but you haven't played together in a while.

You are in 4th seat and see:

West
AJ872
KJ964
92
7
W
N
E
S
4
P
5
P
P
P

At first, it looks like you will have a balancing decision over 4 after partner passes. Would you have reopened? (no tempo issues). Bidding at the 5 level looks too risky so you choose to pass, rightly or wrongly.

Partner leads the A and you see:

West
AJ872
KJ964
92
7
South
K6
1082
AKQJ1053
K
W
N
E
S
4
P
5
P
P
P

The A lead here asks for attitude (K from AK) and you play UDCA. What do you play?

West
AJ872
KJ964
92
7
South
K6
1082
AKQJ1053
K
W
N
E
S
4
P
5
P
P
P

While we do like hearts, there is a danger the 2nd round will be ruffed and we are certainly open to a spade shift so the 9 looks best. The play will splinter into hypotheticals after that point based on what you think opening leader should do at trick 2 and your answers to the following questions.

Should 3rd hand discourage with just the A? 

Should partner shift to a count spade card or an attitude spade card?

Should partner lead the Q if they have it with the theory that declarer will likely play for split aces with a guess?

If declarer is 1-1 in the majors (or ruffing trick 2), our problem figures to be moot but we might well have a cashing guess at trick 3.

I found this hand quite interesting since i was not sure of the answers to any of these questions though being unsure of answers is not new to me.

Now we are going to present some problems based on the questions posed above and see how you would proceed.

Case 1, partner shifts to a count spade card regardless. 3rd from even / lowest from odd

West
AJ872
KJ964
92
7
North
East
South
K6
1082
AKQJ1053
K
W
N
E
S
4
P
5
P
P
P
D
5 North
NS: 0 EW: 0
A
2
9
5
2
0
1
5
6
2

Your play?

Case 2, partner shifts to an attitude spade card regardless. 

West
AJ872
KJ964
92
7
North
East
South
K6
1082
AKQJ1053
K
W
N
E
S
4
P
5
P
P
P
D
5 North
NS: 0 EW: 0
A
2
9
5
2
0
1
3
K
A
4
0
0
2
2

Your play?

Case 3, partner shifts to the Q when they have it expecting better than A empty.

West
AJ872
KJ964
92
7
North
East
South
K6
1082
AKQJ1053
K
W
N
E
S
4
P
5
P
P
P
D
5 North
NS: 0 EW: 0
A
2
9
5
2
0
1
Q
K
A
4
0
0
2
2

Your play?

Case 4, partner shifts to the Q (note that we no longer have the SJ but the ST)

West
A10872
KJ964
92
7
North
East
South
K6
1082
AKQJ1053
K
W
N
E
S
4
P
5
P
P
P
D
5 North
NS: 0 EW: 0
A
2
9
5
2
0
1
Q
K
A
4
0
0
2
2

Your play?

Here is the actual deal (yes, i took a slight liberty in case 1 with the duck but i don't think it's inconceivable to place the A offside with the discouraging signal holding the hypothetical K).

West
AJ872
KJ964
92
7
North
94
5
74
AQJ109642
East
Q1053
AQ73
86
853
South
K6
1082
AKQJ1053
K
W
N
E
S
4
P
5
P
P
P
D
5 North
NS: 0 EW: 0
A
2
9
5
2
0
1
Q
K
A
4
0
0
2
2

I could not see a clear path to success for the defense with the possible honor / count uncertainty. 

23 Comments
Getting Comments... loading...
.

Bottom Home Top