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The Defensive Game

by Di Brooks

Playing a defensive game needs a lot of work especially as you defend twice as often as you play as Declarer. How often does a discard go unnoticed? Declarer is drawing trumps, say Hearts and a defender, not following the suit, plays a diamond. It is crucial that the opponents stay awake. If you missed that discard and partner follows the next discard with a black card, it gives you information on which suit to switch, (you think). You get in and lead back what partner would like, only to find Declarer winning a cheap trick. The opportunity to make a killing switch and you blew it!

There are four people at the bridge table. Believe your partner over the opponents. Well, you should be able to trust that person. If you can't have that trust, then maybe you should get another partner! One such problem that occurs regularly is when one player continually overbids, mainly because their partner doesn't value their own hand properly, again because the aggressive bidder goes overboard. A Catch 22 situation. Another lack of assessing your values when you hear "I only had 10 points". The hand has support with 4 trumps so a One, Two - That Will Do - isn't right. With good support, your hand is worth gold in my opinion.

Take a look at this hand:-

East Deals
Both Vul
J 9 7 3
J 10
K 10 5
A Q 4 3
8 4 2
4 3
J 9 7 4
J 10 6 5
Q 9 8 7 6 5
Q 3
9 7 2
Q 10 6 5
A K 2
A 8 6 2
K 8
  1 1 NT1
Pass2 2Pass2 
Pass4 PassPass
  1. 15-18
  2. Stayman

West is marked with almost nothing. He leads his partner's suit and the JH forces the Q and taken by the AH. Declarer needs very little knowledge to place all the important cards with East. If he can enter Dummy with a club and then play towards the trumps in his own hand, he is pleasantly rewarded by a top honour from East's hand. As both N/S hands hold good support cards in spades, missing only the AK honours, he can happily play another round of trumps, taking out both the A and K of spades.

West has no good suit to signal but MUST keep his 4 card club suit. He can see 4 cards in clubs, in Dummy. Keep length with the known length.

East has only hearts to discard. Keeping his cards close to his chest. He might possibly make the QD.

When a player opens the bidding, showing a minimum of 11 points and their partner passes, it doesn't take a mathematician to count the points in both hands.

Keep awake. Count the trumps played. Count the points played too and especially watch for discards by your partner.

Famous Last Words

To double an opening bid
And follow it with a jump,
Shows a good strong hand
With its own suit of trumps.

So only another bridge player
Will appreciate my tale of woe,
One who has been there before
For they are in "The Know".

Having won the auction
Two rounds of trumps I take,
Then run a second suit
My contract, I did not make.

For on the second round
The count of 4 was only 3,
A diamond not a heart
Was what I didn't see!

So if you read this epitaph
Make sure of your victory,
Count carefully our trumps
Or you'll end up just like me!!!!!!!

She Didn't Count Her Trumps!!!!

Happy Bridging,

happy-icon (4K)


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