This week you are playing E-W, and because the problem is a tough one, you get four attempts to beat the contract.
North’s bid was a negative double, showing the unbid suits. She usually has four cards in the unbid major for that bid but was stuck for a good alternative. Anyway, South lands in 4♥, and you are on defense. Can you beat this precarious contract?
Take one: Spades are led, with Declarer ruffing the third round. The 8♥ is ducked around to East’s Queen. But East has no Spades left, and it’s easy for Declarer to win whatever is returned, draw trumps and claim the rest. Cut!
Take two: The defense has a certain trump trick and they must make sure that it is West who wins that trick. This allows Spades to be continued, causing Declarer to lose trump control. So, when the 8♥ is led, West must hop up with the 10, forcing Declarer to play Dummy’s King. Now it’s a Heart to Declarer’s Ace and a low Heart to East’s Queen. Again, the wrong defender has won the Heart trick. Cut!
Take three: OK, suppose West plays his 10♥ on the first round, forcing Dummy’s King, but, then, on the second round, East cleverly jumps up with the Queen. No, that won’t work either, Declarer simply lets the Queen win. Cut!
Take four: As before, West plays the 10♥, and East must do his part by dropping the Q♥ under Dummy’s King. Great defense! This guarantees that West wins the defense’s Heart trick and he is the one who can play Spades. Down one!
That would be an awfully hard defense to find at the table, don’t you think? In fact, it’s tough enough even when looking at all four hands. But it’s a thing of beauty, nonetheless, all the more so as it gave both defenders a starring role.
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