Never give up hope on defense
By Phillip Alder September 5, 2012 1:20PM
Updated: October 7, 2012 6:06AM
Calvin Coolidge said, “Those who trust to chance must abide by the results of chance.”
When you are defending, it will sometimes look as though the contract is going to make. And that could well be true. But if there is a chance to defeat declarer, the defenders must take it.
In this deal, East must not give up without a fight. He is defending against four spades. What should he do after West leads the club three: four, king, queen?
In the bidding, North might have just bid four spades because a slam was unlikely, given East’s opening bid. However, it did not cost to cue-bid two clubs first to show positive values.
Note West’s lead, his lowest from a low tripleton when he has not supported his partner’s suit. And also note South’s cost-nothing falsecard at trick one. It is good to sow the seeds of doubt into the opponents’ minds.
East can see two winners: one spade and one club. And since it is clear that there are no red-suit tricks coming, East must hope South was having a little joke at trick one. So East continues with the club ace, winning the trick. But what does he do next?
The only chance to defeat the contract is to take two trump tricks. This will be easy if West has the spade king, but in case he has queen-doubleton or jack-third, East must play a third round of clubs.
Declarer ruffs in the dummy and leads a trump, but East wins with his ace and plays a fourth club to promote West’s spade queen to the setting trick.