Luise Lee

What would you play?

I was on defense against a 3NT contract.  The bidding went :

West North (me)

East South
2 Pass 2NT Pass
3NT All Pass


Partner led the 3 and here’s what I see:



North (me)

West (Dummy)


The declarer plays the J from dummy which holds, (declarer contributing the 7), and leads the 4.

What do you play, and why?







I was thinking about the problem and I couldn’t figure out why Declarer played the 4.  What was he thinking?    Is this a quick trip to his A so he can finesse in spades or clubs?  And what does Partner have for his 1 bid?

Of course, all of these questions needed to be answered before I played to the first card…  I’ll continue the story later.


Bobby WolffApril 29th, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Hi Linda,

There is nothing easy about trying to make a defensive plan to defeat this game. How about throwing the 10 of hearts underneath the Jack (possibly not necessary if declarer leads a diamond from dummy at trick 2) and when declarer now leads a diamond, rise with the King and continue hearts. If partner holds: xxx, Q9632, Axx, AQ, leaving declarer with: xx, AK87, QJ10x, xxx the bidding and declarer’s play up to now has been consistent. There are still some variables which I do not want to take the time to consider, but other defenses will not work and declarer’s choice of leading a diamond off the dummy must be respected.

Judy Kay-WolffApril 30th, 2010 at 7:47 pm

O.K. I’ll bite. Now you have roused my curiosity. What’s the rest of the hand?

MichaelMay 1st, 2010 at 11:59 am

Hi Luise,

If Declarer-East have any 3442 holding and partner-South 2533 with two aces, any reasonable defends, including any diamond by you at trick 2 will best 3NT, as long as partner does not permit east to gain the lead.

If East had 2452 say xx AK87 QJ10xx xx then you must win the 2nd trick with the diamond king and return a heart, otherwise you will leave partner with losing options.

Imo with heart three lead, declarer with xx AK87 QJ10x xxx will always make 3NT. Say you win diamond king at trick 2 and return a heart, declarer wins the ace and goes about setting up the club suit.

Interesting hand.

LuiseMay 4th, 2010 at 8:46 pm

Partner had S 97 H K8432 DA8 CA875

I ducked the diamond lead at Trick 2 because I knew dummy had just 2 diamonds, and I had 4 to the K so I knew declarer couldn’t finesse the king out of me, but I guess that was a defensive error on my part?

I couldn’t figure out why though, with those promising club and spade suits in the dummy, that declarer was leading a diamond in the first place. I think that if I had won the king of diamonds and led back a heart, we could have beaten the hand, but I was completely convinced that declarer had to have the DA to make leading the diamonds make any sense whatsoever. But maybe I’m wrong?

Bobby — It’s Luise, not Linda 🙂 And at the table, I didn’t throw the 10 under the heart Jack but instead played small. I really don’t understand why declarer led a diamond at trick 2. He already has won the heart Jack from dummy and he had started with H AQ97 in his hand… he has the stiff CQ… why is he leading diamonds to his QJ1075? Did he just make a mistake and gave us a chance to beat it, and I just screwed it up? Or was there a legitimate reason for him to play the way he did?

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