9.10 Defending  
The matter is to be passive or aggressive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 


 

 

If you want to show a good defense, you must follow opponents' calls in the auction very carefully. 
Sometimes, the best defense is attacking. If declarer has long suits, he will discard his losers to low cards of this long suit, after he clears your trumps. If you feel such a danger in the sky, don't lead trump as opening lead. Your opening lead must be aimed at collecting declarer's losers, before he can find a way to establish these losers. So, you must be aggressive if you decide declarer has long suits.

Sometimes, you would like to hide your strong suit. You may like to see the dummy and have an idea about declarer's strength. Then, you can attack with your strong suit. In order to attack with your strong suit later, your oponening lead may be a card that has no chance to make a trick. So, you must be passive if you decide declarer has a balanced hand.

We can divide defending into two groups:
1-
Defending suit contracts:
2- Defending no-trump contracts

Before looking into these groups, let's take a look at general rules for opening leads:

a)Your partner's suit.
b)Lead from an unbidded suit.
c)If all suits bidded, dummy's 2nd suit.
d)Lead the highest of touching high cards.

e)Avoid opening leads in a side suit heading with an Ace, but lacking the King.
f)Avoid opening leads in declarer's first suit.

Defending suit contracts:

Lead from an unbidded suit. Opening leads in partner's suit are the safest. You can lead a trump in order to ruin declarer's plans and prevent him winning extra tricks by ruffing. Don't use your singleton trump as an opening lead. Since you are lack of trump suit your partner may have long one. Especially, if your opponents showed unbalanced hand (by refusing no trump contract) trump opening will prevent them winning tricks by ruffing.
If you are planning an opening lead from your singleton or doubleton suit to obtain ruffing later, your trumps must be low. In other words, don't plan to spend your winner trumps by ruffing. You must also be sure that your partner will win your opening lead to turn the suit for you to ruff.

Lead the high card from a doubleton. Like 9 6, J 7. Avoid opening leads in a doubleton with a gap (like: AQ, Q10 etc.)
Lead lowest card from three cards
which is not headed by two touching high cards. Like: 9 6 4, Q 7 4, but Q J 7. 

Defending no-trump contracts:

If you are making an oppening lead in a no trump contract, you can lead the forth best card from your longest and strongest suit.

If contract is no trump in the hand diagram at the left, you can lead  7 (forth best card) as an oppening.

Also, choose a mojor suit for opening lead in no trump contracts: Your opponents made no trump contract because they don't have long major suit. With a long major suit they would prefer a major contract.

You can confidently make an openining lead with touching honors like, AKQ, KQJ or QJ10.

Lead the highest of touching high cards. Even if the sequence is begining after a gap. 
A J 10 9

Lead the high card from a doubleton. Like 9 6, J 7. Avoid opening leads in a doubleton with a gap (like: AQ, Q10 etc.)
Lead lowest card from three cards suit which is not headed by two touching high cards. Like: 9 6 4, Q 7 4, but Q J 7.

Good Luck! 

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