Bali 2013: Good offense wins games… great defense wins championships
The two players in a bridge partnership have to play defense like a synchronized swimming motion, because a single weakness and the entire defense will fail. Foto: Geir Helgemo & Tor Helness
On 27 September, 2013 At 19:20
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Friday September 27 2013, Bali
The two players in a bridge partnership have to play defense like a synchronized swimming motion, because a single weakness and the entire defense will fail. When your offense is struggling, good defense can keep you in the game until your offensive boards start to arrive. However, most players still don’t make defense a top priority when developing their game. Why is that? To start with, learning how to play bridge defense is hard work. Sadly enough, most players aren’t willing to put in the time and effort needed to become successful on the defense. The other reason most players aren’t dedicated to improving their defensive game is that it isn’t as fun as other aspects of the game. But in order to become complete and well-rounded in all aspects of the game, players must dedicate a portion of their time into learning how to play bridge defense. It’s critical to their success!
Board 2 QF, Round 1
|Board 2. Dealer East. N-S Vulnerable.|
| K T 4
Q 9 2
A Q 9 3
A J 9
| 9 8 7 6
A 5 4
J 5 4
7 6 5
| Q 2
K T 8 3
K 8 7
Q T 8 3
| A J 5 3
J 7 6
T 6 2
K 4 2
In Board 2 all the tables (in the three championships) played 3NT by N/S, in 5 of these tables the lead was the 3, in only one the lead was the 8 and in other the Q. Both leads the 8 and Q give declarer the chance to make an overtrick. The 3 doesn’t give an overtrick, and requires that declarer correctly locate the Q.
In one of the tables the declarer received a heart lead, he played a little heart from dummy, West played his A and North unblocked the Q, when he won the third heart round with dummy’s J, he continued with a spade to his hand 10…one down, he lose: 3 hearts, 1 spade and a diamond.
In another table the declarer wasfrom England, in the defense Geir Helgemo (West) and Tor Helness (East) from Monaco. Helness lead his 3.
The declarer played a little heart from dummy, Helgemo in West played his A, and returned the 4. Bahkshi unblocked his Q, and Helness won with his K (letting David win the trick in his hand would have helped him to guess right the spade finesse) and continued with his 8. The declarer won in dummy and played the diamond finesse…Helness won with his K and he returned…a diamond!!!.
The stage was all set: Now for declarer Helgemo had 4 heart cards and Helness only three. As Helgemo was now the dangerous player, David played the spade finesse through Helgemo and into Helness who was waiting with his Q doubleton, and the fourth heart. One down and 12 IMPs for Monaco.
We went to ask Tor Helness about this board, this is his explanation about what happened at the table:
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