Dilemma     in     Defense



OKB.    IMP’s.     Board 559.     Week ending 30 November.




Imagine you are East.
N-S are vul, and the bidding goes :


  WEST
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
NORTH
Pass
2 §
4
EAST (you)
Pass
Pass
Pass
SOUTH
1 NT
2 ©
Pass
 

Partner leads the K, and dummy comes down.
How do you propose to beat this hand?


  NORTH
10 9 6 4
10 9 7 4 3
A Q 2
J
(Hand rotated
for convenience)
 
EAST (you)
A 8
K 5
J 6 5 3
7 6 5 4 3


Timeout. What are your thoughts?
Have a plan before you scroll on.




Ready to read on?   Have a plan?   Good.

Did your thoughts go something like:

"Hmmm, partner has led the spade king. This guarantees us 2 tricks in spades at least. Maybe a ruff too. But what is the points situation ?

"Declarer opened 1NT. 15-17 points. Dummy has 7, and I am looking at 8 points in my hand. That gives pard 8-10 points. I know of 5 of his points from his lead. Even if pard has the club ace, then the heart finesse is on since pard cannot have the heart queen also then. And if pard has the diamond king, I can see that the heart finesse is on. And if pard perchance has the heart queen, that gives two spades and only one heart since the hearts are 2-2.

"To beat this hand, if pard has either the club ace or the heart queen, we have to make 3 spade tricks. If I take the second spade, how can I get to pard for him to cash the spade queen? No no, I do not want to bank on his having the club ace. Is there another possibility? Hmmm, I can overtake his spade king, and return it. He can then give me a ruff, and we will then collect the heart queen or club ace later. Yes, that takes care of him having   either   the heart lady or the club ace. Cheezzzz, I will kill him if he has the diamond king instead.

"So here goes... I will play the spade ace on the king, and return it."

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


The lead? King of spades. You played the ace on it, and returned the suit. Partner surprises you by cashing both the spades queen and jack (you discard a club) and partner plays a 4th spade. You oblige by ruffing with the   king.

Declarer overruffs this, and plays a heart. Pard jumps in with the knave. Next thing you see is Declarer claiming 2 down. Wow!

You notice "nicely defended, pard" in the chat box. You respond ever so humbly "typ u2"

You notice +5.27 IMPs for your side and you wonder what would have happened if you didn’t overtake the spade king at trick 1. Yes, you see that there is no method to reach pard for the third spade trick and declarer can pitch his third spade on the third diamond, or pitch dummy’s remaining spades on the clubs. You quietly murmur "hee hee" to yourself, all alone in your home study at 1:30 a.m. Next to your feet lies an overturned bowl of pretzels. You will pick it up later. Not now.

You silently count that 13 declarers made their game call, and another 9 declarers scored +170 for their part-score. And only 13 defenders beat it 2.

Nicely defended, yes.



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