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Defense -- Strategy at Trick 2


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The big decision/choice on defense (after you've won the first trick) is whether to be aggressive or passive at trick 2. Should you bang down an ace and make a high-risk, attacking play? Or, should you just get out of your own way and let declarer do their own dirty work. Usually, the latter approach is best, but there are many exceptions.

If dummy has a side suit that might be a source of discards for declarer, that suggests aggression. If declarer might be trumping in dummy, that suggests a trump switch. If there is no reason to suspect dummy has anything of value, it is usually right to make a safe/passive play at trick 2.

The topic is covered in the book Larry Teaches Defense and the video.

This quiz has 5 new "trick-2" decision problems.

South (your LHO) opens 1♠. After North (dummy's) bid 3♠, South goes to 4♠.
Partner leads the ♠2 (Standard).
Dummy plays low and you (East) win your ♠Q (cheaper of touching).
What do you play at Trick 2?

NORTH (dummy)

♠ J654  
♥ Q65  
♦ A42  
♣ A65
 

 
     

EAST (you)


♠ K108  
♥ A72  
♦ 10986  
♣ KQ4
 

 



 

Choose One:

♠8

♠A

♠2

♠10

♠K

♠4

South's (declarer's) weak 2♠ is raised to 4♠ by North (dummy).
Your partner leads the ♠Q. You (East) win the ♠A, declarer following with the 3.
What do you play at trick 2?

NORTH (Dummy)

♠ AJ64
♥ KQJ10
♦ AJ3
♣ 106

 
      

EAST (You)

♠ 532
♥ 542
♦ K106
♣ A842

 

Choose One:

♠

♠

♠K

♠10

♠6

♠

Declarer (South) opens 1♠ and North responds 1NT, which you double for takeout.
South jumps to 3♠ and North goes to 4♠, the final contract.
Partner leads the ♠Q, and you play the ♠K (cheaper of touching).
What do you play at trick 2?

 

North (Dummy)

♠ J4
♥ 87
♦ A7632
♣ Q643

 
 

East (you)

♠ 532
♥ AK3
♦ Q109
♣ KJ107

 

 

 

Choose One:

♠

♠A

♠3

♠

♠J

♠7

I would have let partner win the first trick.

North (dummy) opens 1NT and South bids 4♠ (yes, I know that you use transfers--but this is my quiz, so my auction).
Partner leads the ♠J, covered by dummy's ♠Q and your ♠A. What do you play to trick 2?

NORTH (Dummy)

♠ KQ4
♥ KQ3
♦ AJ82
♣ Q107
 
       EAST (You)

♠ 732
♥ A764
♦ K95
♣ KJ4
Choose One:

♠ or ♠

♠K

♠9

♠5

♠K

♠4

South (declarer) on your left opens 2♠, raised to 4♠ by North (dummy).
Partner leads the ♠J and you win your ♠K (cheaper of touching).
What do you play at trick 2?

NORTH (Dummy)

♠ AQ65
♥ AQ1084
♦ 4
♣ Q83

 
      EAST (You)

♠ 42
♥ 7653
♦ AK73
♣ KJ2

 

Choose One:

♠

♠

♠A

♠3

♠K

♠J

♠2