Synopsis: There is no
question that defense is the most difficult aspect of playing bridge. Many
players become adequate bidders by simply memorizing the point count for
various bids; others find that playing a dummy becomes easy with practice.
But defense is a matter of logic. If you are a good defender it is almost
impossible to be a losing player. At least half of your opponents' contracts
can be defeated with good defense, but the sad truth is that about eighty
percent of them are fulfilled. Why? Because most players have not been
well-drilled in the fundamentals of defensive play: know the suit and the
card in that suit to lead that will give partner the maximum amount of
information; know when to signal; know when to play an attacking defense
(taking your tricks as quickly as possible) as opposed to a passive defense
(sitting back and waiting for your tricks); decide what the declarer is
trying to do based on his manner of play. This is the blocking and tackling
of bridge. You cannot be a good bridge player unless you can do these things
with reasonable skill. Introduction to Defender's Play, written by one of
the outstanding world bridge experts, can teach you the defender's skills
you need to play winning bridge.
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