22 JULY 1995, Page 40


Play straight

Andrew Robson

THE KEY to successful defence is co- operation. As much information as possi- ble should be conveyed to a partner who may be faced with difficult decisions.

Dealer South Both Vulnerable North – South have 30 Part-Score The Bidding South West North East Pass Pass


Pass 1NT Pass 2NT All Pass

West led +3 against South's 2NT con- tract, sufficient for the rubber. Declarer played dummy's 8 and East won the king and returned the 10 (top of a remaining doubleton). West made the fine play of the jack to this trick, clearly denying the queen — with both queen and jack he should clarify the position by playing the queen. Declarer won dummy's +A and led *K. East won his ace, and counted declarer's tricks. Marked with •Q (for his *K play) and the 40, East could count two spades, at least two diamonds and with dummy's clubs sure to provide four tricks (via a finesse if necessary), he realised that he had to attack hearts immediately. In case the actual layout existed, he shifted to IFIC and followed with a low heart to West's ace; a third round of hearts through dummy's 108 to East's J9 completed a top-class defence. Had West not played +J at trick two to deny the queen, East would probably have played his third spade when in with the *A. Note that if East had switched to a low heart, it would be impossible for West to lead the third round of hearts through dummy's 10 and only three defensive heart tricks would materialise.