Third Hand Low
Since the days of Whist everyone has known about the principle of playing ‘third hand high’ for a defender, the aim being to force out an opposing high card. However, circumstances alter cases, as on this deal from Round 14 of the Transnational Teams:
South led the 4 and when declarer played dummy’s three, North realised that putting in the jack would allow declarer to win, draw trumps ending in dummy and play hearts from the top, collecting North’s queen. His solution was to contribute the two, allowing declarer to win with the nine. Declarer cashed two spades and then tried the A, but South could ruff and the defenders then cashed their minor suit winners for one down.
In the replay the same contract was reached, but after an identical opening lead North put in the Q and declarer had an easy route to ten tricks.