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Subj:.....Watson's Bridge Challenge #5, Chapters 19 (S554c)
          Elementary Defense After The First Trick

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

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1. Chapter XIX, Page 189 - Holding Up In Defensive Play

Just as Declarer holds up in a No_Trump contract to shut off communication between the two defending hands, the defensive player can hold-up to shut off communication between the Declarer's hand and the dummy.

Against South's three no-trump contract, West opened with the five of Spades.  (He might have led the Spade ten, but here the choice was unimportant.)  You play the King (third hand high), and Declarer wins with his Ace.  Now Declarer must first attempt to set up dummy's Clubs, and leads the Ten from his hand.  West plays the seven of Clubs, and the dummy plays the five.  How should East play his three Clubs?
 
. 7 6
9 5 2
10 9 6
K Q J 9 5
10 9 8 5 3
Q J 8.....
Q 5 4.....
7 6.......
K J 2
K 6 3
J 8 3 2
A 8 2
A Q 4
A 10 7 4
A K 7
10 4 3
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Answer.

Obviously dummy has no re-entries outside of the Club suit.  East must hold up the Ace of Clubs until the Declarer forces the card on the third round.  Since East only had three Spades to start the hand, he then returns his highest Spade, the Jack.

If East had four Clubs, he would have returned a low Club to give his partner a better suit count.

Eventually Declarer will have to lose several tricks to the defenders.
 


 

2. Chapter XIX, Page 190 - Holding Up In Defensive Play
 

Again, South's contract is three no-trump.  Again, West opened with the five of Spades.  Again, you play the King, and Declarer wins with his Ace.  Again, Declarer first attempts to set up dummy's Clubs, and leads the six from his hand.  West played the two of Clubs, and dummy plays the Queen.  How should East play his Clubs?
 
. 7 6
A 5 2
10 9 6
K Q 8 7 5
10 9 8 5 3
Q J 8.....
Q 5.......
J 10 2....
K J 2
K 6 3
J 8 4 3 2
A 9
A Q 4
10 9 7 4
A K 7
6 4 3
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Answer.

If you hold up, the later lead of a low Club will pull out your Ace, and dummy still has an entry in in the Heart Ace.  You must win the first round of Clubs and hope that your partner holds a Club trick.  Return the Jack of Spades and establish your partner's Spade suit and hope for the best.
 


 

3. Chapter XIX, Page 191 - Unblocking In Defensive Play

West leads the six of Clubs against Souths' no-trump contract, and the dummy plays the King.  How should East play his Clubs?
 
. A K 3
10 8 7 6 4
Q J 2
9 5
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Answer.

On the King, you must play your Queen, and never was a lady sacrificed for a better cause.  You know that your partnere must be leading from a long suit since the four top honors are in plain sight.  If you play your deuce on the first trick, retaining your Queen-Jack, you will have to win the third round and you may not be able to put your partner in the lead with any other suit.  Therefore you should throw your Queen under the King, and as soon as the Ace is played, toss your Jack away under it.  This leaves you with the deuce to lead to your partner's hand.
 


 

4. Chapter XIX, Page 191 - Unblocking In Defensive Play

In No. 1, the contract is three no-trump in the South, and West leads the Queen.  How do you play your two Hearts?

In No. 2, West leads the Jack.  How do you play your two Hearts?
 
. No. 1
.
No. 2
.
Q J 10 8 2
A 5
or
K 5
J 10 9 6 3
Q 4
or
K 4
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Answer.

In No. 1, you must play the Ace, or the King.  In No. 2, you must play the Queen, or the King.  You know that partner's lead indicates a strong honor sequence, you must get out of his way as quickly as possible so that at a later time he will be able to run off his established tricks without hinderance.
 


 

5.  Chapter XIX, Page 192 - Unblocking In Defensive Play

The contract is three no-trump in the South, and West leads the Queen.  Dummy plays a low card.  How do you play your two Hearts?
 
. 9 8 3 2
Q J 10 6 4
K 5
A 7
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Answer.

Now it is folly for you to play the King, since Declarer will win this trick with the Ace and eventually the nine-spot in dummy's hand will be in line for a trick.  Here you must play low, hoping that Declarer will refuse to win the first round?  If he does, your partner's lead of a low card will drive out your King and declarer's Ace on the same trick.
 


 

6. Chapter XIX, Page 192 - Ducking In Defensive Play

In defensive play, the use of the ducking strategy is usually confined to the hand of the opening leader.  The purpose of the play is either to leave an entry card in partner's hand (when the leader's hand lacks an entry) or to establish a tenace position over the declarer.

You are West who opens the hand by leading the six of Hearts against South's three no-trump contract.  Dummy plays the five, and partner plays the Ace.  This wins the trick while declarer plays the four of Hearts.  At the second trick, East leads the ten, which immediately lets you know that he did not originally hold four hearts, and also locates the Queen and Jack in declaer's hand.  When Declarer covers the ten with his Jack, what should you do?
 
. J 8 7
9 5
A 8 7 6
10 9 8 7
9 5 4....
K 8 7 6 3
4 3......
J 4 2....
10 6 3 2
A 10 2
K 9 5
K Q 6
A K Q
Q J 4
Q J 10 2
A 5 3
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Answer.

Your only chance of getting the most out of your Heart suit is to refuse to overtake the Jack at the second trick.  You duck by playing thr trey, hoping that your partner will be able to obtain the lead once more and return his third Heart.
 

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Louis H. Watson's "The Play of the Hand at Bridge" is the definitive work on 
how to play the hands in bridge.  It should be bought and read by all serious 
bridge players.

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