The other day I came across two defenders who displayed no card sense whatsoever. Poor West was dealt a yarborough, but it was his defeatist attitude, coupled with his complete lack of bridge nous, that made him the epitome of a dork. North/South had arrived in a 6NT contract, and the dork was on lead. When dummy came down he saw: A.....AQxx......KQ10xx.......Kxx. So his arbitrary lead of a diamond was a disaster, because a lead in either major would have surely defeated the contract, with declarer holding : QJxx...Jx...Jx...AQJxx.
Declarer took the trick with the jack and played on diamonds until East's Ace was forced out. A spade return seem eminently sensible, but declarer....who by now was a firm believer in miracles ......took the trick in dummy, and rattled off two more diamonds and 4 clubs. At this point, he had arrived at this 3 card ending...... with dummy holding the AQx of hearts, opposite his spade queen, small singleton heart and a fifth winning club.
Wazzock West of course had lost complete interest in the proceedings, and his willy nilly discarding of useless hearts, left his squirming partner trying to hold on to the king of spades, and his Kx of hearts. On the play of the last club, East threw away his spade K in abject despair, praying that dork held the queen. No such luck.....contract made.
The witless West should have reasoned that for the contract to fail, his partner needed to hold both kings....but there was a real danger of him being squeezed in the minors. Therefore, it was necessary for him to help his partner out, by appearing to have ( and protect ) the heart king . Mind you, his partner must also reason that on the run of the diamonds and clubs he was going to be in real trouble, and must therefore chuck his hearts away like a man who doesn't hold the king. Bearing the King had to be done of course without a flicker of emotion. This joint effort to create a smoke screen would ,if nothing else, put declarer on the spot to demonstrate his card sense..........and make an intuitive guess.
And the moral of this story ? Well, as a defender with sod all to defend with, it is of paramount importance that you still retain an interest in what is going on.....looking ahead firstly to create difficulties for declarer. Secondly, to envisage what difficulties partner might encounter, and be there to help him out. Never hand things on a plate to your opponents. Force them to make guesses, which on average will be wrong 50% of the time. Create a few smoke screens, and where it can't harm your partner attempt to misinform or deceive opponents. In other words use a bit of card sense.