DEFENSIVE PROBLEM #5

North dealer
Neither side vulnerable

 NORTH (dummy) ♠ A K 9 5 ♥ 3 ♦ A K Q 10 7 ♣ 10 8 5 EAST (you) ♠ 8 3 2 ♥ A 9 4 ♦ 5 3 ♣ A 7 6 3 2
SOUTHWESTNORTHEAST
1 Pass
1 Pass3 Pass
3 NTPass4 Pass
PassPass

West leads the six of hearts.

Plan the defense.

### Solution

 NORTH ♠ A K 9 5 ♥ 3 ♦ A K Q 10 7 ♣ 10 8 5 WEST ♠ 7 6 ♥ K J 7 6 5 2 ♦ 8 6 2 ♣ K J EAST ♠ 8 3 2 ♥ A 9 4 ♦ 5 3 ♣ A 7 6 3 2 SOUTH ♠ Q J 10 4 ♥ Q 10 8 ♦ J 9 4 ♣ Q 9 4

NOW OR NEVER. After winning the first trick, East should realize that the only chance to defeat the contract is to take three club tricks before the defense loses the lead. Therefore, East should underlead the ace of clubs at trick two, hoping to find partner with the king of clubs doubleton, or the queen of clubs doubleton (hoping declarer misguesses which club to play when the ace is underled).

Did you notice that the challenge was to plan the defense rather than the more usual request to plan your defense? West, on the same reasoning, should return a club at trick three. And East should overtake the second club to give the ruff. To make it easier for partner to do the right thing, with the cards as shown in the diagram West should win the first club with the king, then return the jack. Similarly, from king-queen doubleton West should play king-then-queen, to alert East to the need to do something unusual.

(Based on a deal and analysis from the 1963 National Industrial Recreation Association Par-Hand Bridge Tournament by William S. Root and Lawrence Rosler.)

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