Quack… Duck

Hi all

Another game from last friday. Because of the fine, strong honors in South (no soft Queens or Jacks) I sold it as a 22-23 NT. Dennis put me in 3NT. I got the lead of a small (4th) and this is what I saw:

South Dealer
EW Vul
North
6
943
QT72
QJ975
South
AK74
AK62
AK6
83

I ducked both the lead and the continuation. When they pressed on in (wrong!, if the defence now shifts to a I will suffer the loss of five tricks) I won and played a to the Queen, East winning. Now a came back and here I could pluck the fruits of my early ducks. I took it and again a towards dummy, West rising. A fourth round of the pointy black suit followed, leaving me with an awkward discard in dummy:

North
QT72
J9

Do I discard a and play for the Ten to drop, or discard a and hope something good happens in ? A discard leaves more options open: 3-3 or the Jack doubleton or a squeeze against East. The Jack dropped doubleton (sorry, no squeeze), resulting in nine tricks.

I’m satisfied with my play. But I guess this game is more about defence, take two tricks and then shift to to develop the setting trick there, with as entry. I have to improve my defensive skills, because I’m not sure if I’m able to imagine such defence at the table.

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