Defense -- Passive or Aggressive?In this instructional article on defense, we examine the most important conceptual concept on defense: Should we be "safe" or "attack?" Should we be "Passive or Aggressive?"
Passive is leading from three low cards or a nice sequence like 1098.
Aggressive is leading away from a king or laying down an unsupported ace.
What if dummy is on your left and you consider shifting to a diamond in this situation:
If you shift to the 2, you are making an aggressive, attacking play. If your partner has the ace, you will collect diamond tricks. Even if partner has the queen, you will be okay.
But, if declarer has the AQ, your play will have cost a trick.
Why make such a play? If the auction, dummy and early play indicate you need to cash out and quickly take (or establish) tricks, your best hope could be a diamond shift.
However, on most deals, you will want to go passive in this situation (and play anything but a diamond).
Say declarer is in 4. If he has diamond losers, (for examples, Q105 or 1093 or even A103), he will lose those diamonds whether or not you shift to the suit. Unless--and it should be a bold unless, he can discard them. If the rest of dummy is "useless"--such as no good long suit or trick-source, declarer will sit there with those diamond losers until he eventually must lose them. If dummy happens to have AKQJ10, then you had better shift to diamonds--or declarer will throw them on dummy's clubs.
Summary: On defense, usually try to be passive. Don't make attacking/dangerous plays. But, if all the evidence is there that declarer will be able to dispose of his losers if you don't get active, then get active.
Just as a picture is worth 1,000 words, so are examples. Try the four below to see if you can further understand this very important part of defense:
Here are 4 free deals to practice, click HERE!
GET LARRY'S VIDEO ON DEFENSE HERE!
For more practice deals, click here, and then download the demo (under the picture of the CD).