The Give Up play

In a recent club hand, I opened 1. My partner bid 2, a convention called “inverted minors”*, showing 10+ points, at least 4 card minor support, and no 4-card major. I then bid 2NT to show I had a minimum opener but had all the other suits covered. My partner then bid 5. (We later discussed that he should have simply bid 3NT.) When dummy came down, I could see that I had 3 losers.

Dealer: S
Vul: Both
North
32
K
K52
AJ109652
West
K654
A943
J1073
7
East
A97
J1072
84
Q864
South
QJ108
Q865
A9
KQ3
Bidding:
SouthWestNorth East
1 Pass2*Pass
2NT Pass5Pass
Pass Pass

Analysis

With three losers on dummy (1 and 2 ) there was no way I could make my contract, unless the defense made a mistake. Left-hand opponent led a . I took it in my hand with A. I played two rounds of clubs, leading the K and then the Q from my hand, playing a low club on dummy each time. I then played a little heart to the K on dummy, intending to set up Q in my hand. If for some reason the opponents didn't immediately cash their two spade tricks, I could pitch a little spade in dummy on my good Q in my hand.

LHO took the A and immediately switched to a spade. RHO took the trick with the A, thought for a moment, and then led back a diamond! I took the trick on dummy with the K, ruffed a small in my hand, and played Q, pitching a small spade on dummy. Hand made!

This is a perfect example of what is called a "give-up play." A give-up play is one which couldn't possibly benefit the defense, and allows declarer to regain the lead and the tempo.

It's obvious that I can take the on dummy, so RHO should realize that he shouldn't lead back a diamond. If there's another trick to be hand by the defense, it's got to be a spade... so even though RHO can't necessarily see it, he must lead back a spade.

Reference

*Inverted Minors

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