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Do your preparation

East’s type of misdefence on this week’s deal was most instructive. I believe that every reader will have erred in such a way - I certainly have many times!

South Deals
Both Vul
8 6
6 5 3
A 4 2
J 10 9 8 7
K 4 3
8 4 2
J 10 9 7
6 4 2
W   E
J 9 7 5
Q J 10 9
8 5
A K 3
A Q 10 2
A K 7
K Q 6 3
Q 5
West North East South
      2 N
Pass 3 N Pass Pass

West led  J and declarer won his  Q and led ♣ Q. East won ♣ K and started to think. Should he return  8 - partner’s suit - or should he switch to  Q? Eventually he led back partner’s suit. Declarer carefully won  K - preserving  A as a dummy entry. He led ♣ 5 to ♣ 8 and East won ♣ A. East switched to  Q and declarer won  K, crossed to  A and enjoyed ♣ J109.  A and ♠ A brought his trick tally to the required nine.
East thought at the wrong time. As soon as he had won ♣ K, declarer was home whether he returned  8 or  Q. To defeat the contract East needed to duck ♣ Q. He wins ♣ 5 continuation but declarer needs two further entries to establish dummy’s ♣s and has only one -  A. Declarer is held to only one ♣ trick - ♣ Q - and fails even if he establishes a second ♠ trick.

In effect East had three choices at trick two - to duck ♣ Q, to win and return  8, or to win and return  Q. It is illogical to rule out one option - ducking ♣ Q - without thinking.

ANDREW’S TIP: Do your thinking about what to lead to the next trick before winning the last trick, not after. Perhaps it is wrong to win the trick at all!


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