Kingman Daily Miner – 4 May 1982 By Jay Becker
North dealer. Both sides vulnerable.
Opening lead — 2.
A shrewd defender makes all kinds of assumptions about the location of the unseen cards. He does not see partner’s or declarer’s hand, but, in order to find the best method Of defense, he assumes where some of the missing cards reside.
The governing principle in making such assumptions is that you don’t assign to declarer cards that make the contract hiqnegnable, if it is posible for partner to have them. On the contrary, you assume that partner has the high-card strength or distribution that will lead to declarer’s defeat.
Consider this case where West leads a diamond. East takes the ace and the problem is what to return. The correct return Is a low heart, but, before discussing the question of why, let’s first examine the effect. West puts up the king and dummy wins with the ace.
It doesn’t matter what declarer does next: he is bound to go down one. If he tries a trump finesse, West takes. the king, returns a heart, and that finishes declarer off. If East returns anything but a low heart at trick two, South easily makes the contract.
East’s goal at the start is to score four tricks for the defense. In attempting to meet this goal, he cannot credit South with the king of hearts, for, if declarer has that card, it becomes impossible for East-West to take four tricks. Hence a heart return by East at trick two is a must. He is forced to hope that West has a trump trick in addition to the king of hearts, and that the heart return will do declarer in.