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Improve your Defensive Play por Fulvio Fantoni

October 16 2012; Source: Fulvio Fantoni Official Site

Teams Monaco Cavendish Last day

Before going back at the table, I wish to tell you about a board of the third round of yesterday. We were playing versus Milou team. This board can be interesting from a didactic point of view.

 W   N E  S
  1   Pass   1   2
  2   Pass   4

The contract is 4, and Claudio in South leads K, declarer plays dummy’s ace,and I play the 6, thus disliking the suit.

Three rounds of hearts are following. As I have three trumps cards, the 7, the 5 and the 3, I use my trumps to show my partner my preference in the different suits. So, as I am holding the K, which is the intermediate suit among clubs, diamonds and spades, I discard the intermediate card of hearts (the 5) first. On the second hearts round, as I have to choose between clubs and spades, I discard the 3 (for the lower suit, that’s to say clubs) and finally at round three I discard the 7. This is a kind of trump Lavinthal: trumps are used to show the partner in which suit he should play.

It is also possible to give partner an indication about your favourite suit when you only have 2 trumps: in this situation you have to decide between two suits which one you want to signal, and, as there are three available suits,  a little inference by your partner is needed.

When declarer plays spades again, I am now holding 4 and 3 and I discard the 4, so repeating my preference for the diamond suit (which is the higher suit).

You probabily noticed that in this specific board the discard is not very important, but declarer could be holding Kxx and Ax and in that situation a  return by South would give the declarer a trick. So this is the importance of  the conventions in the defensive play.


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