Andrew Kambites North South then you take four heart tricks. If you do
1™ 1NT not switch to a heart, he has nine top tricks.
2NT 3NT Could declarer have the singleton king
THERE are two ways of planning the of hearts? That would give West a holding
defence. You can simply apply the What are your options? of ™Q-J-10-9-8 and he would surely have
guidelines. Most of them have plenty of Firstly, you need to adjust to the fact led a heart even though North bid them.
merit. For example, beginners are taught that it isn’t automatic to return partner’s Anything could be right, but a switch to
to return their partner’s suit. This is good suit. However, neither is it right to ran- the three of hearts certainly requires least
advice for beginners. The important domly switch suit without seriously con- from your partner to succeed: namely the
principle is that you need to co-operate sidering whether you might be thwarting king of hearts when he is likely to hold
with your partner. If your partner has led partner. four hearts and declarer probably has only
his long suit against no-trumps he has You could persevere with spades. Partner two. You may still succeed when declarer
done so for a reason. He may be trying to lacks the top spades but could have spade has the ™K-J and guesses correctly. If he
establish length tricks. If you do your own length. However if, and when, you get in has to lose a subsequent trick in another
thing when on lead it is all too likely each with the ace of hearts you won’t have a suit before taking nine tricks, then the
of you will try to set up your own long suit third spade to lead so it might be difficult to defence can take three heart tricks.
with the result that neither suit ever set up and use partner’s spade tricks.
becomes established. Equally if he has led A club is an option, indeed it could be
from a short suit against a suit contract he spectacularly successful of declarer has If dummy’s bid suit turns out to be
is hoping for a ruff. ®K 10 doubleton. How likely is this? With very weak, consider switching to it.
However, there is a limit as to how far four spades South would probably have Partner may be strong in the suit
the guidelines will get you. The secret of preferred 1´ to 1NT. With three hearts but have been put off the lead by the
good defence is logic and the further you South may well have preferred a forcing opposition bidding.
progress in this series, the more logic will 3™ to 3NT, looking for the 5-3 heart fit if
supersede applying guidelines. This logic North has five hearts. Therefore if South
can point towards the need to switch suit, has only three spades, two hearts and two In the next deal partner chooses to lead
or it can even suggest that you lead a card clubs then he must have six diamonds. the nine of spades to dummy’s king and
from a particular combination that would That is certainly possible but doesn't seem your ace. What should you play at trick two?
not be regarded as normal. The idea is to very likely.
try to work out what is going on. A third possibility is a heart switch. As I
In the first deal partner leads the nine of said in the previous paragraph South is Game All. Dealer South.
spades and you take dummy’s queen with unlikely to have three hearts. Therefore ´ KQJ3
your king. What should you do next? your partner probably has four. Moreover ™ 10 9 2
you can see all the hearts up to and t 754
including the seven so partner’s lowest ® A K 10
Game All. Dealer North. heart will be higher than dummy’s ´ A62
´ AQJ highest. If partner has the king of hearts a N ™ J8
™ 7652 heart switch will certainly beat 3NT, and E t A632
t AKQ4 you may still succeed ® 9632
® J3 if South has Hand A. Hand A
´ K7 If you switch to a ´ 53
™ A43 low heart, declarer ™ KJ North South
E t 53 has to guess whether t 10 9 8 6 4 2 1™
® 986542 to play the king or ® A 10 7 1´ 2™
jack. If he misguesses 4™
40 English Bridge February 2011 www.ebu.co.uk