†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††INTERMEDIATE BRIDGE COURSE†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††
†DEFENSIVE PLAY OF THE HAND
1. The Defensive Hold-Up:† Declarer is not the only player who has the ability to use the hold-up play in order to prevent the opponents from enjoying otherwise established tricks.†† The defenders can also use this technique in an attempt to strand declarerís suit.† Suppose you are defending against a No Trump contract and there are no other entries into dummy other than the suit shown in the following example:
††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††NORTH (DUMMY)
†††††††††††††† WEST†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† EAST
††††††††††††††† 4††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† A93
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† SOUTH (DECLARER)
††††††††† Declarer plays the K, partner plays the 4.† It is obvious that declarer is attempting to establish the suit.† East should duck.†† South then continues with the 6, partner discards and dummy plays the Queen.† What should East do at trick 2?
Conclusion:† When declarer is attempting to establish a long suit in No Trump, defenders should hold-up as long as it takes to strand the suit.† A count of the suit in question can be assisted by the partner of the defender deciding how long to hold-up by means of playing high-low from an even number of† a holding in the suit, and low-high from an odd number.†† Even in circumstances where declarer has other outside entries, or even in the case of suit contracts, it still may be advantageous to hold-up until declarer be forced to use up an additional entry in order to continue running the suit.
† †††In the following example, assuming declarer has no outside entries in a No Trump contract, when should you win the Ace, and how many times should you as defender hold-up?
†††††††††††††††† DUMMY†††††††††† You can see nine (9) cards between yourself and the††††††††††††
†††† YOU†††††††††††††††† KQJ109†††††† Dummy.† If partner has only one card, he/she will show†††
†††† A752†††††††††††††††††††† out on the second round of the suit; declarer then,††††
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† has three and you should win the third round holding up for two rounds.† If partner follows suit on the second trick, declarer has only two of the suit and You can take the second trick with your Ace.
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† - 18 -
2. Defenderís Plan:†† We will discuss in future lessons some specific guidelines for defender play such as: Opening Leads against No Trump and Suit Contracts, Third-hand and Second-hand play, Defensive signals, Developing Defensive Tricks, and How to Interfere with Declarer.†† In general, however, the Defenderís must first learn to establish a Plan for the Defense.† They must each consider how many tricks do we need to defeat the contract, How many do we already have, from whence can we establish more, and how do we put it all together?††
†††† In the following hand, you are defending a contract of 4H and your partner leads the Queen of Spades.† Declarer wins the trick with the Ace of Spades, and draws two rounds of trumps with the Ace and King.† Declarer then finesses for the King of Diamonds and loses to your King.† How many tricks do you have, how many more do you need to defeat the contract, where might they be gotten, and what do you lead after winning the Diamond King to make it happen?†
††††††††††††††††††††††† Q73†††††† ††††††††††††††††††YOU
††††††† QS†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 86 ††††††††
Notice:† Defender must not wait to switch to the Clubs, since declarer can throw off Club losers on the now-established Diamond suit.† Defender must play the Clubs immediately.†††
Conclusion:†† By looking at the overall picture, one can often see how a specific contract might be defeated.†† Make a plan and try to imagine what your partner might need to have for your side to defeat the contract.††† Then play the cards as if they existed in that way.†
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† - 19 -