By Barbara Seagram
Courtesy of BarbaraSeagram.com
It is a known fact that some are able to multi-task and some just cannot. We are not going to suggest which gender can and which cannot but we all know. BUT at the bridge table, no-one should multi-task! Bridge demands your full attention and focus. Discussing the outfit of the player sitting South at Table 7 will distract you and likely will lead to poor results. Once you settle down to play a game, now it’s time to tune out all the surround-sound. Zoom in and focus on the task at hand. Don’t let the distractions get in your way or your life will become a series of missed opportunities.
You are sitting West on this hand and lead the ♦A. Partner follows with the ♦8. You continue with the ♦K and partner now plays the ♦3. Since partner has given you a high-low signal, you correctly infer that she must have a doubleton. Furthermore, she must be able to overruff the dummy.
It is now that you have to be paying even closer attention. When you are giving partner a ruff, you are able to tell her which suit to lead back after she has ruffed. If you lead a LOW card for partner to ruff, it requests the return of the LOWER ranking suit. If you lead a HIGH card for partner to ruff, it begs for the HIGHER ranking of the two remaining suits. (There are only ever two remaining suits as the player who is ruffing is out of one suit and trumps don’t count.)
You now return the ♦2. East’s ears perk up as she notices the ♦2. Declarer ruffs the diamond in dummy but East overruffs with the ♠J. She returns a low club (you asked for the return of the lower-ranking suit). You win with the ♣A and return another diamond. East is happily able to overruff dummy yet again. Down two!
Note that if you lead back any old diamond (e.g. the ♦10) then East will return a heart. Declarer can now win that with the ♥A, draw trumps and pitch her losing club on the ♥Q in dummy. Making 4♠.
Ahh, the magic of good defense! It should hold great allure for all of you. It’s a great feeling when you’ve beaten a contract. You’ll stand taller when you leave that table!