Double Dummy 06

Earlier, we saw how EW can best defend a 1NT contract given ‘double dummy’ vision. Now let’s look at what might happen if WEST is the dealer and opens 1NT, which is passed out.

Dealer W Nil Vul


The ‘obvious’ opening lead from North is the ace of clubs. Leading fourth highest from such a suit may work out best some of the time but North will usually be able to lead a low one next if that looks like a good idea. Yes, the clubs will be blocked if South has Qx but the advantages of starting with the ace (from a four card suit) outweigh starting with a low club. So, North starts with the ace of clubs. That is good news for South, but... South must NOT signal encouragement. Why? Because four club tricks can be now be relied on, but is that going to be enough? Clearly not, so South discourages on North’s club ace lead. North has a clear enough switch, through dummy’s strength, as per your tutor’s advice. So, North switches to the seven of spades, South wins when dummy plays any of the spades. South now leads a low club to North’s king and North continues the attack with another spade. South wins, cashes two spades and then surprises North by cashing the queen of clubs, which North was sure was NOT in South’s hand.

Defence is about telling partner what they need to know, but also what you want them to know, even telling them a lie when that is necessary. The clubs were not going to run away, but had North continued clubs, four clubs and two spades is all that NS would be able to score, EW making 1NT. Is getting declarer down two not a better result? Learn to defend double dummy and you will be surprised at your results!