Mike Yuen — Mike talks about bridge

Alarm Clock Defence

Playing in a team game Kismet Fung (west) and Susan Culham (east) defended this hand rather well.


Dealer: South

Vul: East-West

Kiz Susan
743 95
J1098 643
A10 J8653
AJ52 K97



West North East South
Pass 2** Pass 2
Pass 2 Pass 3
Pass 3NT Pass Pass


* one no trump was 11 to 14. ** 2was game forcing stayman.

Three no trump was a good contract as the four spade game had no play.

Kiz led the heart jack, queen, six and two. Declarer played the diamond two from dummy, eight queen. Tick-tock tick-tock, time stood still as the alarm bells went off in kiz’s head. A moment later she raised with the diamond ace. 

Their partnership play reverse smith, so the eight was a discouraging card for the defence’s first led suit-heart. Kiz accurately switched to the club two, three, king and four.

Now the spot light was on Susan, should she return partner’s first led suit-heart or should she return a club. The clue was in Kiz’s play of the club two-their agreement-in the middle of the hand, they lead low from interest. So if Kiz had led a higher club, that would mean she wanted a heart return or a switch.

Susan worked it out and returned the club nine, declarer had no chance with this fine defence and went down one. Pushed the board.

At the other table, North-South bid to four spades and went down one.

This was an interesting hand for declarer play also. Declarer could have won the heart lead in her hand with the king and advance a low diamond. Would Kiz know to take her diamond ace in time? I think she would.


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