Friday, December 5, 2008

Would you get the defense right?

Playing online at OKbridge last night with Notzia, we bid to 4 with these cards:

8 3
A K 10 9 8 6 3
Q 10 4
K 10 9 5 A 6 3
Q 6 5 9
Q J 7 5 4 2
9 7 5 3 A K J 8 2
Q J 8 4 2
A K J 10 7 4 2

I was the dealer with both sides vulnerable and opened 3. I'm not sure what the best bid is with the South hand, but Notzia bid 4, a reasonable shot.

West led the 9 won by East with the jack. He continued with the A, and that was ruffed. Declarer advanced the J which was taken by the ace. The K was returned and ruffed.

Declarer ruffed a spade in dummy and cashed the A K, discarding two spades. When the Q J fell, he led the 10 and discarded his last spade. West ruffed, but now his Q fell under declarer's A K and the contract was made.

The contract can be defeated. At trick two, East can shift to the 9. Declarer wins and advances a spade. West has to win this and lead a heart, preferrably the Q. He gives up his heart trick, but it prevents a ruff in dummy and an entry to the A K.

Should West find this play? Would you find it?

Making 4 was worth 3.56 IMPs for our side. If we were defeated, we would have lost 9.30 IMPs, a huge swing.

The board was played 70 times. Ten times it was played in 3 , twice in 4 and once in 4. The other 57 contracts were 4 . You can see all the results of this board if you click here.


  1. Ha - reading your blog when you post about Bridge is like reading a foreign language.

    Just go all in? lol

  2. Bridge is a foreign language, for sure. Maybe bet half the pot, then go all in if raised?

  3. As an intermediate, I probably wouldn't find it. It takes a bit of imagination to guess a diamond void in declarer's hand, but the is really picturing a holding that can be defeated, isn't it?

    An instructive hand.

  4. Thanks, Warren, for your comment. If your partner signals count on the spade lead, then if you decide declarer has 5 spades, and then you might guess he has 7 hearts. I say might, no one in the OKbridge field did. Sometimes, bridge is just too tough.