Defence in Bridge

Defence in Bridge

December 9, 2019 3 By Luis Garrison


(upbeat music) – Hi everybody. Defence in bridge is a little bit like same strategy as when you declarer, in that you, you’re not trying
to grab your tricks too soon, but trying to establish
extra tricks for your side. And I’ve got a first hand
here to have a look at and you’ll get the idea Pass, pass, pass. 1C from West. 1S from East. 2NT from West, so that’s a strong 18, 19 balanced hand and 3NT from East. All right so, North has
led the queen of hearts. And East wins the ace. And I can win that with the ace of clubs and you’ll see I’ve got
the ace of spades there, ready to take but it’s very important
that I don’t take that ace, because if I do take that ace, all I’m doing is setting up, perhaps the king and
queen and declarer’s hand. What I want to do here is play a heart and I know I’m going to
lose that trick to the king. Yes it’s gone. But by playing a heart now, that means that the ace
and king of hearts are gone and either I or my partner
can get the lead back and we can just keep on playing hearts and everything will be good. But we’re not gonna get the lead back, if we take our tricks too soon, which is why, I didn’t take the ace of spades too soon. It’s the wrong suit here. Good, right, so you see now I can win the ace of spades. And play a heart. But if I’d taken that spade too soon. Before knocking out the king of hearts, we would’ve not done so well. Great. So 3NT, is going down by one. And once more you can see here, if I’d taken the ace of spades, I would’ve just set up the
king and queen of spades for declarer. So pick a long suit,
especially if your partner’s lead a suit and just keep
on playing that suit. That’s one good strategy, for no trick, for defending a hand. Okay this time, I’m gonna
show you a similar situation, but this time, we are going to
be defending a suit contract. So this is 4H by East, and I’m going to lead a spade. And East plays the queen of spades. Now it looks like, it’s highly likely here that East has got no more spades left. So I’m gonna play the king of spades, East is going to, they have no spades, and so she’s going to play a trump. Now does that seem like a
good thing or a bad thing? Well in this case, it’s a good thing for us, because what’s gonna happen, is that, as I keep on playing spades, East is going to have
to use up your trumps and eventually, I’m going
to have more trumps, or at least the same
number of trumps as East. Okay so East has played one trump already. And so partner followed suit there. So, we know that East started
with a five card heart suit and she’s already trumped one of my spades and she’s played the queen of hearts. So East has only got three trumps left. So look what happens now, when I play another spade. That’s another trump gone and now, I’ve got more trumps than East. So don’t be afraid of continuing a suit, even if it’s in a suit even
against a suit contract. Because, again, you just
keep on playing a long suit and either the opposition will run out, or will force them to use their trumps. That’s great. I can take that trick and declarer is one down. I don’t think anything, I don’t think I’m gonna
get anymore tricks. I’ll play that. But if I play a spade
now, East can ruff it and she’s still got the king here, so I’ll just play a heart now. No more hearts left. And I think this contract
is just one down. If I’d done anything else other than play, a spade in the second round, then declarer would’ve made this contract. Okay, let’s try another hand. 1C from East and I will pass that. 1H. 1S. 3H, so West has
got a six card heart suit. And North leads a diamond. That’s great. Nice lead, North. So I’ve got the ace of diamonds there and that queen of diamonds,
I’m also going to be able to take a trick with. But, when I play the
ace of diamonds, if I play ace of diamonds,
queen of diamonds and jack of diamonds, this time, East will, or declarer, will
be able to play a trump. And the East hand. And he’s still gonna have all those hearts on the West hand. So this time, I don’t want to keep on playing diamonds, because I’m not forcing West to use up all his long trumps. What I can do here, is I can play a heart. Now it looks a little odd, but when dummy is short in a suit, by playing a heart, we can, take away declarer’s trumps and then now, if I can get the lead back, that my diamonds are all winners. Notice it wouldn’t have
done East any good, or declarer, any good
to play a diamond there, because I could’ve won the diamond and played another heart myself. Okay. Okay. All right, now I can take my diamonds. And another diamond. Good. And this contract is down. If I’d played diamonds too soon, then declarer would’ve
been able to ruff that through diamond and the dummy. Okay. 4H down one. Let’s have a look at one more hand. Okay. 1C from East. Pass. 1D. 1H. 3NT. And North leads a spade. Okay so this hand, let’s just look at their auction again. So 1C, 1D,
1H, 3NT. Looks like West has got some diamonds. And I’ve got one diamond,
East has got one diamond, West has got some diamonds. So it looks like North is
likely to have some diamonds sitting after West’s diamond suit. So West is gonna be
disappointed about that. And I’ve got the spades here, sitting after East’s spades. So, West is gonna be
disappointed about that too. So I can win the jack of spades here. And even though my partner led a spade, I’m not going to return
partner suit this time. I’m just going to play anything. I’m just gonna get rid of the lead, give the lead back to declarer, and let the declarer just struggle along. So this is a situation where, you just know everything’s
going to go badly for declarer. And when that happens, quite often, you can employ what they call passive defence. So you just, win something
and then give the lead back and sit back and wait for your tricks. Now you might just wonder why North led a spade in the first place. Well let’s again look at the auction. 1C, 1D, 1H. East and West had all the other suits. So North also knows this hand
could be a little bit awkward and has just led something
to give nothing away. So, what am I gonna do here? I’m not, well, I’m not gonna play a heart, around with the ace yet. I’m not gonna play a spade. I could play a club, I suppose, but I’ll just play a diamond. Good. Well it’s not quite what we wanted, but that’s life. We can still sit back here. We’ve got two tricks. And that’s three tricks. Good, that’s a nice play, North. So North has just given me the leading through that spade suit again. And, we have four tricks. We only need one more trick. But we’re in the same situation. I could, there’s no need for me
to do anything rash here, I can just play something, I’ll just play another spade. Give the lead back to North. And poor old North, is
going to have to play the hearts, oh, West, sorry. West is going to have to
play the hearts himself. And this contract is not
looking good for declarer. Oh look (mumbles). I can even make a spade
trick in the end there. Good. Okay so 3NT gone down. We just tried
to give nothing away. So we’ve talked about three
different types of defence. One is, establishing your long suit. Just choosing a suit,
keeping on playing it. Another thing you can do is, sometimes play trumps to
stop declarer ruffing things in the dummy. And sometimes, well quite often, it’s just simply a matter of not being too aggressive with your defence and in fact being passive. Just keep on giving the lead away and letting declarer do all the work. You know, you just sit back
and wait for your tricks.