AUDREY GRANT'S BETTER BRIDGE MAGAZINE May / June 2020 - Page 11

Dummy ♠ A J 8 ♥ Q 5 4 4♠ ♦ A 4 ♣ A K 10 7 2 Partner n You ♠ 5 3 w e ♠ Q 10 6 ♥ A K 9 3 2 ♥ 10 6 s ♦ Q 10 8 ♦ K 96532 ♣ 5 4 3 Declarer ♣ 96 ♠ K 9 7 4 2 ♥ J 8 7 ♦ J 7 ♣ Q J 8 Instead, play the ♥6, a discouraging signal. Hopefully, partner will then lead a diamond, establishing your ♦K as a trick. Declarer won’t be able to discard a loser on dummy’s clubs before you get to win a trick with the ♠Q. Together with the ♥A-K and ♦K, you’ll defeat 4♠. A little “six sense” goes a long way. Seven Up Next, let’s take a look at how the seven can contribute to the defense. In the following example, you’ll find similarities to the previous hand but with a twist. As East, you are defending against 4♠ after the following auction: WEST NORTH EAST SOUTH 1♣ Pass 1♠ Pass 2NT Pass 4♠ All Pass Partner leads the ♥A and this is what you see when dummy appears: Dummy ♠ Q 10 8 ♥ J 8 5 4♠ ♦ A K Q ♣ A Q 7 6 Partner n You ♠ A K 7 LEAD: ♥A w e ♥ 7 4 2 s ♦ 9 8 5 3 Declarer ♣ 8 3 2 You have two sure winners in the trump suit, but it doesn’t appear the partnership will get tricks from diamonds or clubs. From the lead of the ♥A, it’s likely partner also holds the ♥K. If partner can take two heart tricks, the contract will be defeated. Typically, when partner leads an Ace against a suit contract, you will show an encouraging signal only if your side can win the third round, either with the queen of the suit or a ruff. On this hand, you don’t have the ♥Q or a planned ruff. So playing the ♥2 will be a normal discouraging signal to partner to stop leading hearts. Here, however, if partner doesn’t take the ♥K but shifts to a diamond or a club, declarer makes the contract. Before drawing trump, declarer will take three club winners and discard the heart loser. The defense gets only one heart and two spades. Look at the complete hand: Dummy ♠ Q 10 8 ♥ J 8 5 4♠ ♦ A K Q ♣ A Q 7 6 Partner n You ♠ 3 w e ♠ A K 7 ♥ A K 9 6 3 ♥ 7 4 2 s ♦ 10 7 2 ♦ 9 8 5 3 ♣ J 10 9 5 Declarer ♣ 8 3 2 ♠ J 9 6 5 4 2 ♥ Q 10 ♦ J 6 4 ♣ K 4 Instead, to defeat the contract, you need to go against the normal signaling guidelines and play the ♥7 – an encouraging signal – to tell partner to continue with the ♥K. Wouldn’t partner continue with the ♥K anyway, even if you played the ♥2 on the first trick? Not if partner trusts your signals. This could be the complete hand: Partner ♠ 3 ♥ A K 9 6 3 ♦ 10 7 2 ♣ J 10 9 5 Dummy ♠ Q 10 8 ♥ J 8 5 4♠ ♦ A K Q ♣ A Q 7 6 n You w e ♠ A 7 2 ♥ 7 4 2 s ♦ 9 8 5 3 Declarer ♣ K 8 3 ♠ K J 9 6 5 4 ♥ Q 10 ♦ J 6 4 ♣ 4 2 Here you would play the ♥2 as a discouraging signal, hoping partner shifts to clubs. Then you get a club trick to go with the two heart winners and the ♠A. If partner played the ♥K at trick two, declarer could discard the club loser on dummy’s established ♥J. Thank goodness you were dealt that useful ♥7 on the original deal. Know When to Hold ‘Em In this last example, the opponents get to 7NT. You are sitting West and South is declarer. You make the safe opening lead of the ♠Q. This is the complete hand: Dummy ♠ K 7 2 ♥ K J 8 7NT ♦ A K Q 6 ♣ A J 5 You n Partner ♠ Q J 10 w e ♠ 9 6 3 ♥ 9 7 6 ♥ 5 4 3 2 s ♦ 7 4 3 2 ♦ J 9 5 ♣ 8 6 3 Declarer ♣ 10 7 2 ♠ A 8 5 4 ♥ A Q 10 ♦ 10 8 ♣ K Q 9 4 Declarer wins with dummy’s ♠K and then takes three heart winners and four club winners. On the fourth round of clubs, you have to make a discard. What’s it going to be? Since South opened 1NT and likely holds at least two diamonds, you’re the only member of the partnership that can guard against dummy’s ♦6 from becoming a winner. You know declarer has the ♠A since partner did not win dummy’s ♠K on the first trick. To protect the fourth diamond, you’ll have to hope partner can prevent declarer from taking a third spade trick. So discard a spade honor, but hold on to all those diamonds to keep length with dummy’s diamond suit. If you do that, the precious ♦7 will prevent declarer from taking four diamond tricks to make the contract. BetterBridge.com 9