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X-Def 04

Here is a fine example, from a recent match point session, of good and bad opening leads, and good and bad defence. As well as good and bad bidding.

Dealer East EW Vul

T743
Q8
A7652
J3
AQJ2
KT64
QJ
T86
K8
A972
K843
K75
965
J53
T9
AQ942

The wonderful thing about bridge is that there are always so many different outcomes in any one deal, depending on the skills and bridge knowledge of the participants. This deal provided opportunities for everyone.

X-Clubs 58

This deal came from our local club’s AGM bridge session preceding the formalities. I thought other X-Clubs readers should find it of interest. We heard recently of the passing of John Wignall, one of our bridge icons. John earlier partnered the late Frank Lu for many years and Frank’s favourite phrase was “Slowly slowly catchee monkey”. We know what that means at the bridge table.

Here is a good example of how to get to the best possible end result the careful and slow way.
Dealer North NS Vul

T5
AK8
KQT74
AJ6
Q9642
9532
963
8
KJ83
J76
852
QT2
A7
QT4
AJ
K97543

X-Clubs 57

Board 19 from Tuesday 21/03/23 gave a number of Norths an unexpected and unwelcome shock when they played in an excellent 6S slam.

Board 19 Dealer South EW Vul

AKJ93
JT2
6
K965
4
A987643
74
J84
T862
Q
T832
QT32
Q75
K5
AKQJ95
A7

X-Def 03

Here is an example of right and wrong defence from recent play. I hope that after the earlier chapters on opening leads this example will make total sense. Not that there is always a 100% sure line of defence evry time. Let’s see what happened when this deal was played some time ago.

Dealer East EW Vul

Q743
J8754
A8
63
AKT2
KT3
T653
J8
J8
AQ92
KJ42
Q75
965
6
Q97
AKT942

X-Def 02

Here are my recommendations for opening leads from certain holdings in your strongest suit. Note that it is not always best to attack your own ‘strongest’ suit, be it against No Trump or suit contracts. However this review will give you a start towards developing your opening lead skills.

a) Your lead against 3NT? b) Your lead against 4S? holding

  1. AQ972
  2. QJ97
  3. K972
  4. AJ763
  5. KQT2
  6. AK93
  7. QJ542
  8. AKT94
  9. J9432
  10. AJT32

X-Def 01

Welcome to my new series on DEFENCE. This is a continuation following on from the articles dealing with the “Rule of 11”, a good place to start when we are discussing defence.

Before we get into all aspects of defence, we need to work out a basic structure of how to play combinations of cards when we a) start the defence with the opening lead and b) continue the defence after the opening lead has been made and the beginnings of a plan formed by both defenders.

X-Clubs 56

The bidding on board 10 would almost certainly lead to East playing in 3NT after either a transfer sequence when East opens 1NT, or another invitational sequence where West shows an 11 or 12 point hand with five spades. Take a look at just the South hand and decide what you would lead.

Board 10 from Monday 13/03/23
Dealer East All Vul

T543
K865
54
642
AQ862
T92
Q93
KJ
K9
J43
A876
AQT7
J7
AQ7
KJT2
9853

X-Clubs 55

Declarer play is much easier if you follow the basic rules of counting the points, taking finesses where needed, and keeping a close eye on all the cards. And, of course, use all the cards to develop as many tricks as you can. A bit of understanding of your opponents also helps. This deal should have produced 11 tricks in No Trumps for every East irrespective of the bidding or the defence.

Board 7 from Wednesday 8/03/23
Dealer South All Vul

QT6542
93
A5
Q65
J97
84
K9763
K73
AK3
AKQ7
842
AJ2
8
JT652
QJT
T984

X-Clubs 53

This will be the final article dealing with the “Rule of 11”.

X-Clubs 52

Two basic rules in bridge play are: “second hand low” and “third hand high” and they are certainly good as far as they go. However they should not be followed blindly, because such rules are there to help with decisions, not become automatic. Another ‘rule’ that is closely tied in with the ‘rules’ for second and third hand play is the Rule of 11, which I explained earlier. Now let us take a look at the problems posed previously, and look at how the “Rule of 11” can be instrumental in your decision of which card to play as second or third hand.

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