†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††INTERMEDIATE BRIDGE COURSE†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††





DEVELOPING DEFENSIVE TRICKS:††† The methods by which defenders are able to secure all of the tricks in a suit to which they are entitled requires a cooperative and imaginative effort between the defenders since they are not capable of directly seeing their combined holdings in the suit in question.They need, therefore, the ability to visualize what their partner holds from the bidding, the play, and partnerís signals.†† Ultimately, defenders secure any tricks feasible by way of the same techniques as Declarer; namely, taking sure-tricks, and the promotion of additional winners through establishment of long suits, finessing, and trumping declarerís winners.††


1.      Taking Sure Tricks:††† Similar techniques used by declarer; namely, playing a high card from the short side first, and unblocking, and the added techniques of attitude and count signaling, comprise the methods by which a defending team can maximize the sure tricks to which they are entitled.†† In each of the following holdings which card would be led by your partner against a No Trump contract, and how would you work along with partner in a cooperative effort to take all of the tricks in the suit?


1)   ††††††DUMMY††††††††††† 2)††††††† DUMMY††††††††††††††††††††† 3)†††††††† DUMMY

†††††††††† 73†††††††††††††††††††††††† 64†††††††††††††††††††††††† 87

PARTNER††††† YOU†††††††††† PARTNER†††††† YOU†††††††† PARTNER††††††† YOU

†† QJ104†††††† AK2††††††††††† KQ105††††††† A72††††††††† AQJ92††††††††† K4

††††††††††††† DECLARER††††††††††††††††††† DECLARER††††††††††††††††† DECLARER

†††††††† 9865††††††††††††††††††††††† J983††††††††††††††††††††† 10653


1) Q; Overtake with the†† 2) Q; Encourage with††††††† 3) Q; Overtake with the K††††††††††††

†††††† A or K, lead the††††††††† the 7†††††††††††††††††††††† leading back the 4

†††††† second honor followed

†††††† by a low card


††††††† Conclusion:†† Careful teamwork must be exhibited by the defenders in order to maximize their

†††††††††††††† sure trick capabilities.This especially includes avoidance in blocking of a suit via overtaking

†††††††††††††† partnerís honor, or giving an encouraging signal so that partner can lead a small card over to

†††††††††††††† partnerís high card.


2.      Promoting Tricks:†† Usually the defenders do not have enough sure tricks to defeat a contract immediately from the outset but must, alternatively, develop additional tricks through promotion.†† In the following holdings, against a No Trump contact, Partner leads the card indicated.†† Which card will you play opposite Partnerís lead, and assuming that declarer wins trick one with the Ace, which card will Partner lead when he/she once again, regains the lead; and why?


1)   ††††††DUMMY††††††††††† 2)††††††† DUMMY††††††††††††††††††††† 3)†††††††† DUMMY

†††††††††† 54††††††††††††††††††††††† A32†††††††††††††††††††††††† 75

PARTNER††††† YOU†††††††††† PARTNER†††††† YOU†††††††† PARTNER††††††† YOU

†† QJ93††††††† 1072†††††††††† QJ1065††††††† K7††††††††† Q9832†††††††† J104

††††††††††††† DECLARER††††††††††††††††††† DECLARER††††††††††††††††† DECLARER

†††††††† AK86††††††††††††††††††††††† 984†††††††††††††††††††††† AK6


1)   7;3††††††††††††††††††† 2)K;J(or 10)†††††††††††† 3)10;2


††††††††† Conclusion:Defenders must work together in order to promote as many tricks feasible.†† Each††

†††††††††††††† must attempt to imagine what his/her partner holds from the cars played and the signals given.

†††††††††††††† Only then can they maximize promotion of their potential winners.




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3.      Establishing Long Suits:†† Long suits are a wonderful source of tricks for both declarer and defenders, especially in No Trump contracts.†† The following through with a continuation of the long suit led oft times leads to the development of the suit.Towards this endeavor, it is many times necessary for the partnership to maintain an entry in their combined long suit so as to preserve communication between their two hands.†† You are defending against a No Trump contract and partner leads the card indicated in the suit you have bid.††† Assuming no outside entries, which card do you play to the first trick, and which card do you play to the second time the suit is led?


1)   ††††††DUMMY††††††††††† 2)††††††† DUMMY††††††††††††††††††††† 3)†††††††† DUMMY

††††††††† QJ10†††††††††††††††††††††† QJ10††††††††††††††††††††††† KQJ

PARTNER††††† YOU†††††††††† PARTNER†††††† YOU†††††††† PARTNER††††††† YOU

††† 94†††††† AK8632††††††††††† A53 †††††††K9642†††††††† 1082††††††††† A943

††††††††††††† DECLARER††††††††††††††††††† DECLARER††††††††††††††††† DECLARER

††††††††† 75†††††††††††††††††††††††† 87††††††††††††††††††††††† 765


1)   8;K (or A)†††††††††††† 2)†† 9;2†††††††††††††††††† 3)†† 9;3


††† Conclusion:†† Long suits provide an excellent source of tricks for defenders if (a) they be

††††††††††††††††††††††††††† persistent in promotion of the suit, and (b) they attempt to visualize the complete

††††††††††††††††††††††††††† layout of the suit , maintaining entries between the two hands, ducking when

††††††††††††††††††††††††††† necessary, taking losses early, and, in general, keeping the lines of communication

††††††††††††††††††††††††††† open.



4.      The Defensive Finesse:†† The thrill of success when taking a finesse can be just as rewarding to the defense as to declarer, because the two defenders cannot see each otherís hand, however, as declarer can see Dummyís, they must exhibit some degree of optimism, watch each otherís signals, and constantly look for clues to guide their attempts to entrap declarerís high card(s).†† Against a suit contract, which card would you lead in each of the example layouts?†† Which card would partner play to the first trick assuming a low card is played from dummy, and which defender must lead the suit next if the defenders are to take all the tricks to which they are entitled?


†††† 1)†††††††††† DUMMY††††††††† 2)†††††† DUMMY††††††††† 3)††††† DUMMY

††††††††† A54†††††††††††††††††††† 732††††††††††††††††††† K65†††††††††††††

††††††† YOU††† PARTNER††† †††††††YOU††† PARTNER††††† ††††††YOU††† PARTNER†††

†††† KQ10†††† 8762††††††††††† QJ95†††† 864†††††††††† QJ107††† A83††††††

††††††† DECLARER††††††††††††††† DECLARER††††††††††††††† DECLARER††††††††

††††††††† J93†††††††††††††††††††† AK10†††††††††††††††††† 942†††††††††††††††


1)   K;2;Partner††††††† 2)††† Q;4;Partner†††††††† 3)††† Q;8;You


Conclusion:†† The defenders are capable of utilization of finessing techniques just as

††††††††††††††††††††††††††† effectively as declarer.†† To be most effective, however, they must both be alert

††††††††††††††††††††††††††† to each otherís signals and attempt to imagine what cards partner might have

††††††††††††††††††††††††††† that would have prevented him from continuing the suit if your signal prevents

†††††††††††††† †††††††††††††him/her from continuation of the suit, even though you know he/she would like†††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††††††††† the suit continued.








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5.      Leading Through Strength:†† In order to maximize the number of defensive tricks available in finessing situations, the defense must have the partner lead which is the singular one of the partnership which allows the lead to pass through the strength of declarer or Dummy.†† In the following examples, will you or your partner need to lead the suit in order for the defense to secure all the tricks to which they would be entitled?


†† †††††††1)†††††††††† DUMMY††††††††† 2)†††††† DUMMY††††††††† 3)††††† DUMMY

††††††††††††† 753††††††††††††††††††† AJ10††††††††††††††††††† 872†††††††††††††

††††††††††† YOU††† PARTNER†††††††††† YOU††† PARTNER††††† ††††††YOU††† PARTNER†††

†††††††† K842†††† J109†††††††††††† 973†††† KQ64††††††††† AQ94††† 1063††††††

†††††††††† DECLARER†††††††††††††††† DECLARER††††††††††††††† DECLARER††††††††

††††††††††††††† AQ6††††††††††††† ††††††††852††††††††††††††††††† KJ5


1)   Partner††††††††††††† 2)††† You†††††††††††††††† 3)††† Partner


Conclusion:†† To help visualizing finessing situations on defense, it helps to keep the guideline of leading through strength and up to weakness in mind.



6.      Trumping Declarerís Winners:†† Another way the defenders can produce tricks is to trump declarerís winners.Cooperation between the two defenders is essential so as to get more than one ruff.In order to accomplish this, cooperation coupled with a suit preference signal is critical.In the following hand notice which card partner returns after taking the opening lead of 3D against a 4-Spade contract.


†††††††††††††††† †††††††YOU††††††††††††††† PARTNER

†††††††††††††† J85††††††††††††††††† 3

††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††10752††††††††††††††† J84

†††††††††††††† 3††††††††††††††††††† A10962

†††††††††††††† Q9865††††††††††††††† A432


††††††††††† Conclusion:†† Defenders oft times need to cooperate when trying to ruff declarerís winners.††

††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††Both need to remain aware as to what is going on and must effectively work

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† together using entries available between the two hands.





















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