Only summaries are included below -
see book for details
Charity But Keep
Discards — Even the
Give to Charity But Keep Parity
difficult aspect of defense is deciding what to discard. This
is especially true when one defender has several suits that
need protecting. In fact, my worst nightmare is a situation
on lead after 1NT (16–18) – P – 6NT. My hand is:
With my lovely spade sequence, the opening lead is no
problem — I choose the
Declarer wins with dummy's ace, partner contributing the
two. South now continues with the
as partner follows with the two and six. The time has come
for my first, but not last, discard.
not want to discard a spade; that could set up declarer's
fourth card if he began with KQxx. I don’t want to discard a
red card, either; I would like to retain my length in each of
dummy's four-card suits. Not only am I stuck for a discard
here, but I’m afraid more clubs are on their way. “Wow, what a
Fortunately, I wake up. Thank goodness, it really was a
nightmare. I don’t have to make any discards. (Some would
refer to this as an imaginative avoidance play on my part.)
is the answer? Although not all bridge problems are solvable,
this one is. (If you cannot wait, the answer is on page 172.)
Answer to Nightmare
not like our chances of defeating 6NT if declarer has the
The only real hope is that the cards are distributed as
North East South
— — — 1NT
P 6NT All Pass
which declarer won in dummy with the ace. He cashed the
partner following up the line. My turn to find a discard.
best chance is to keep all of my diamonds, discarding hearts,
then spades. Now, declarer is unable to take more than his 11
Accentuate the Negative
“Should I discard a high card in the suit that I want led, or
a low one in the suit I don’t?”
Although many players prefer to encourage in their strong
suit, a better method is available, especially against notrump
contracts. Preserve length in your good suit, hoping to win as
many tricks as possible. You can easily afford to discard in
your weak suit. After all, why keep garbage? At the risk of
misquoting a leading psychiatrist, my advice is: “Instead
of accentuating the positive, discard the negative(s).”
Improve Your Discards — Even the Odds
Standard discards serve as attitude signals — high cards
encourage, low cards discourage. Unfortunately, these methods
are often inadequate. Consider the following situations:
How do you show interest with AQ32?
How do you deny interest with 1098?
What do you do when you cannot afford to discard in the suit
you want led (e.g., you hold AQJ, KQ10)?
Problems, problems! There is a better way. On your first
discard, play an odd card to encourage. An even card would
discourage and imply suit preference. This proven discarding
technique is known as odd-even discards (Roman
discards). Odd-even discards allow great flexibility.
Most players take to them as easily as ducks do to water!
Odd-even discarding is an example of a convention involving
signals. Yes, there are conventions for defense just as there
are for bidding. Defensive conventions must be announced (and
explained, if requested) before play begins.
CHAPTER 19 -
OPENING LEADS: STOP, LOOK, AND LISTEN 179