Source: Sarasota Journal – 16 Mar 1971

Every good bridge player knows it is often advisable to hold up taking a trick with an ace. Sometimes it is a good thing to holp up taking a trick with a king. More rarely it is wise to refuse taking a trick with a queen. But in bridge there is a time and place for almost everything, as the truism goes.

South dealer East-West vulnerable

A 3
8 6 5 2
A J 9 5
7 6 3
J 10 9 7 2
A 3
8 4 3
Q 9 5
K 5
10 9 7 4
Q 7 6 2
J 10 4
Q 8 6 4
K 10
A K 8 2
West North East South
Pass 1 Pass 2NT
Pass 3NT All Pass

West’s opening lead of the jack of spades went to East’s king and East’s spade return removed dummy’s ace of spades prematurely — before it could be used as an entry to dummy’s diamonds.

But Declarer saw a ray of light.

Al the third trick, he came off the board with a heart to his king. West ducked to throw. Declarer off in case his heart holding was broken but the duck made little difference in the subsequent play. Now Declarer played the ten of diamonds and let it ride East took the ten of diamonds with his queen and came on with a heart.

West won and established his spades, but it was too late. Declarer was home. He won the spade trick with his queen then overtook his king of diamonds with the ace on the board, and cashed the jack and nine for his necessary tricks.


The key to the defense of the hand, of course, was for East to lay off the proffered ten of diamonds. Even if his partner, West, happened to have the king of diamonds the refusal would be correct for the extra diamond tricks. If East takes the first diamond, declarer later still picks up three diamond tricks. By not taking the ten, East can hold declarer to two dia-monds at the most.

One line of a verse of the British anthem God Save the King, one that is not often used, goes: “Frustrate their knavish tricks.” A good thing to remember in bridge. (The
rest of the verse? Something like “Confound their politic. Frustrate their knavish tricks. On him our hopes we fix. God save the King.” We’re a little rusty on our Anglophilia