Inconceivable Defense
Studies show that December is the most frequent month for conception. Since this is January, I suppose today’s West can be excused for not conceiving of the winning defense.

Dlr: West ♠ Q 10 8 6 2
Vul: N-S J 9 3
♣ A Q J 4
♠ A K J 7 5 ♠ 3
A 7 5 4 2
K 10 6 4 2 Q 9 8 5
♣ 6 ♣ 10 8 7 5 2
♠ 9 4
K Q 10 8 6
A J 3
♣ K 9 3
West North East South
1♠ Pass Pass 2
Pass 3 Pass 4
All Pass

Opening lead — ♠K
Against 4, West led the ♠K: deuce, three, four. He shifted to the ace and a low trump to stop ruffs in dummy, but South won, took the A, ruffed a diamond and led a club to his king. He drew trumps, ran the clubs to discard his last diamond, and lost a spade at the end. Making four.


West needed a better defensive concept. When East plays the three on the first spade, West knows it’s a singleton; with 9-3, East would signal count by playing the nine. So at Trick Two, West should lead his singleton club.
South wins but must lead a trump eventually. Then West grabs his ace and leads the ♠5 (suit preference: a low spade asking East to return a club, the low-ranking side suit).
If East ruffs and duly leads a club, West ruffs for down one.

Daily Question

You hold: ♠A K J 7 5   A 7 K 10 6 4 2    ♣6.
You open 1♠, your partner bids 2♣, you bid 2 and he raises to 3. What do you say?

In “Standard” methods, partner shows about 11 points with four-card diamond support. If he has ♠6 4 5 4 A Q 9 8 ♣A J 8 3 2, 6 will be a decent spot. Bid 3. Partner will treat that bid as a probe for the best game, but your later bidding will clarify your intentions.

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