How Do You Defend? 5-8

None Vulnerable

South  West   North  East
1          Pass    2♣        Pass
3♣         Pass     3♥       Pass
4♥          AP

What is West’s Opening Lead & Plan?

North (Dummy)
♠ Q 7 4
 J 10 8
 J 6
♣ A K 10 9 2

West                                             East
♠  K 9 6 5 2                                   ♠ 
  A 5 3 2                                      ♥ 
  9 2                                             ♦ 
♣ 7 4                                             ♣ 

South (Declarer)
♠   
 
 
♣ 

This is a “forcing defense” hand.

When holding four trump to an honor, it is usually right to lead from your longest side suit.  The idea is to force declarer to trump, thus reducing declarer’s trump length.  If West can end up with more trump than South – then West will hold the “boss trump” for down 1!

West should lead the ♠5 at trick one.  East plays the ♠J at trick one, and continues with ♠A and another spade which south trumps.  South pulls trump.  West should now hold off and win the third round of trumps (voiding dummy of trump) and lead the fourth spade – this creates the boss trump in West’s hand as the setting trick!

P.s.  It used to be thought that the side five-card suit had to be super strong.  In the last couple of decades, the experts have determined that any five-card side suit will do.  This is why I don’t write books!  When knew theories come down from the top, I just simply update my online lessons!

Take a look at the entire hand:

North (Dummy)
♠ Q 7 4
 J 10 8
J 6
♣ A K 10 9 2

West                                          East
♠ K 9 6 5 2                                 ♠  A J 8
 A 5 3 2                                    ♥ 4
 9 2                                            Q 10 8 5 4 3 
♣ 7 4                                          ♣ 6 5 3

South (Declarer)
♠ 10 3
 K Q 9 7 6
 A K 7  
♣ Q J 8

Let me hear your comments!

Visit Play Better Bridge for FREE lesson videos called Defend These Hands with Me! World Champion and Master Teacher Donna Compton walks you through her thought process of opening leads, passive vs aggressive defense and many more “must know” defensive ideas. She will then talk about how she makes the decision as to which technique to apply. The combination of being a world-class player, along with the ability to share her thoughts with all levels of players makes these webinar videos unique. Join Donna today and take your game to the next level!

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