A Little Bit Of Magic In Defence

We played this defence with Bela Benedek in a BBO team match. Bela is a good friend of mine, who is already more, than 75 years old, still he runs on the tennis court like a teenager. And he is also good at the bridge table. Let's enjoy the defence!

The opening lead was the Ten of diamonds, and the declarer had to see, that this is not the contract of the century. He had cca 4 spade tricks, min 1 heart, maybe 2 as it lied, 2-3 diamond tricks and 1-2 club tricks, and the opps also don't have too many tricks at the moment. it is a good idea to try to win the finesses and to make some extra tricks with heart ruffs on the dummy.

The declarer put the Jack of diamonds to the 1st tricks, and I won it with the King.

Now it looks so, that the declarer will have 5-4-2-2 or 5-4-3-1 distribution, so we should play a club back, but which one?

My opinion was , that the 7 is the best card. The Jack is not too good, because it may suggest to the declarer, that the King is not in your hand.

So the 6 looks to be the better card, but the 7 is the perfect one. Later we can put the 6, and declarer can read it as 4 cards, and he may be uncareful in the 3rd round of clubs, which will be also short in West's hand.

So I played the 7 of clubs, declarer hesitated a bit, and he won it with the Ace of diamonds and he cashed the Ace and Queen of diamonds, and tried to discard the losing Queen of clubs. For his bad luck, I ruffed the Queen of diamonds very easily, with the four of spades.

It is critically important, that we may not hesitate to ruff it with small trump, despite leaving the singleton King of spades in our hand, because declarer cannot see that, so he most probably will play spade finesse later, if we dont warn him to the singleton King with a hesitation.

Now the declarer still discarded his Queen of clubs, because it was a losing card.

Now I played the 6 of clubs, declarer ruffed it Bela had to put the King of clubs, and the declarer hesitated, but he thought Bela wants to frighten him or it is a Lavinthal signal to the heart suit.

Now the endplay looked like this:

Now the declarer still had a very little chance to make the contract. If the King of spades is in front, and the trumps are in 2-2 distribution, he doesnt lose spade trick anymore. Than he has to play to the King and Queen or the singleton King or Queen of heart in East's side, so he has to play small heart from the dummy to the Jack, which gives him 2 heart tricks and a heart ruff later.

So he played a spade to the Queen. I won  it with the single KIng, and I played the Ten of  clubs, (tucking away the Jack), which was ensuring another trump trick.

The declarer ruffed the 3rd round of clubs with a small trump, Bela overruffed it, and played his last spade to avoid 2 heart ruffs on the dummy.

So we collected 2 heart tricks later, despite the declarer also collected 2 heart tricks, playing the 3 of hearts from the dummy , and he went down 3 times in the vulnerable.

Because of the cathastrophal distribution, our teammate also lost the same contract, making two down, so we collected 100 points in this hand,

Not a huge difference, but an aesthetic experience for sure!