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Subj:.....Watson's Bridge Challenge #4, Chapters 18 (S552c)
Third Dand Defense Against No-Trump

From the book
"Watson the Play of the Hand at Bridge"
Published in 1959 by HarperResource

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1. Chapter XVIII, Page 176 - The Rule of Eleven

Whenever partner's opening lead against no-trump is obviously a plain lenght lead and your (third hand's) highest cards are not in sequence, you should play your highest if dummy has no more than three cards of which the highest is the Ten or lower.

 . 10 8 7 Lead  4 Q 9 6
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Partner lead the four of Hearts, on which the seven is played from dummy.  You are East, what card should you play?

2. Chapter XVIII, Page 177 - When third hand's "Highest" is in
.............................in Sequence With the Card Below it:

If you have two or more high cards of partner's led suit, and these are in sequence, you should NOT play the highest card, but the lowest card of the sequence.

 . 9 8 7 K 5 3 2 Lead  2 Q J 6 A 10 4
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Your partner leads the deuce of Diamonds against no-trump.  The seven is played from dummy, what card should you play?

Sitting east, suppose you blindly choose your highest card - the Queen.  Now suppose declarer wins with his Ace, and later your partner regains the lead.  What does he know about the distribution of Diamonds?  Nothing whatever -  beyond he can see in his hand and in the dummy, plus the four cards that have been played.  Anyone may have the Jack of Diamonds; anyone may have the Ten.  Partner's only high card is the King, now the commanding card of the suit.  He will propaply lead some other suit.

Now suppose that east plays the Jack (instead of the Queen) on the opening lead.  Declarer wins with the Ace.  Partner later regains the lead.  Now what does he know about Diamonds?  He knows a great deal.  He saw you play the Jack, and declarer win with the Ace.  If declarer had the Queen, wouldn't he have used it to win that trick, since the King was still outstanding?  He certainly would have.  Partner can thus lead another low Diamond with the knowledge that you will win the trick and return the suit, enabling him to take two more tricks with his King and five-spot.

3. Chapter XVIII, Page 178 - When third hand's "Highest" is in
.............................in Sequence With the Card Below it:

This conventional play of the bottom card of a sequence is of the utmost importance.  Never depart from it.  Since your cards in sequence are of equal value, the card you play can make no difference to you, but it makes a vast difference to your partner - so play the bottom one.  This applies to any number of cards, no matter how many cards heading the suit are in sequence.

 . 7 3 2 Lead  4 J 10 9 8
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Your partner leads the four of Diamonds against no-trump.  The seven is played from dummy, what card should you play?

Play the eight.

4. Chapter XVIII, Page 179 - When Not to Play "Third Hand High"

 . Q 7 5 Lead  4 K J 10
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Your partner leads the four of Hearts against no-trump.  The three is played from dummy, what card should you play?

You should see that the play of the King is sheer lunacy.  So far as this particular trick is concerned, the Queen is dead, for the hand holding it has played some other card.  You should play the bottom of your cards of equal value, and play the ten, which will either win the trick or force declarer's Ace.

If the ten holds the first round, lead the King.

5. Chapter XVIII, Page 180 - When Not to Play "Third Hand High"

 . Q 7 3 Lead  4 K 8 2
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Your partner leads the four of Hearts against no-trump.  The three is played from dummy, what card should you play?

Play the eight

6. Chapter XVIII, Page 181 - When Not to Play "Third Hand High"

 . Q 7 3 9 8 5 4 Lead  4 K 10 2 A J 6
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Your partner leads the four of Hearts against no-trump.  The three is played from dummy, what card should you play?