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Helpful Defense

South Deals
Both Vul
10 7 6 2
4 2
A J 9 7 5 2
J 8 4
9 5 4
K Q 7 3
10 4 3
A K 9 5
10 6
A 9 8 6
K 8 6
Q 3
A K Q J 8 3 2
J 10 5
South West North East
1 Pass 1 Pass
3 All Pass

West led the K, and continued with the Q. West then shifted to a low spade; East won, and shifted to a heart.
This defense was less than optimal, and declarer, Robin Pleau (robyn on OKbridge), used it to find a surprising overtrick. She won the trump shift and ran her trumps, leading to this four-card end-position on the last trump:
A J 9 7
10 4 3
K 8
On the last trump, East thought a long time, then pitched the A, perhaps praying that his partner was holding the J.
Robin cashed the now established J, and again East was squeezed, forced to ungaurd yet another suit.
Of course, East's best pitch at the four-card end-position would have been a club. Robin would get two clubs here, but would have to concede a trick at the end to West's 10.
But in the above diagram, I've had West pitch perfectly. In reality, West did not value his club cards, and pitched two of them on the hearts.
It was worth 71% to go plus on this board. The overtrick gave Robin a clear top.
<< A Considered Duck
Thomas Andrews (bridge@thomasoandrews.com), © 1995-2009.
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