I was West and held ♠62 ♥8732 ♦T4 ♣AJT76 and passed. North opened 1S, partner doubled, and South bid 3S (preemptive). I may have 4 hearts, but definitely do not have enough to bid at the 4 level and so I passed. Partner now leads the Ace of hearts (A from AK) and dummy comes down with ♠T754 ♥Q5 ♦Q7632 ♣98. What heart do you play on this trick?
It pays to be clear on what your defensive agreements are. Ours are that we signal upside-down attitude on trick 1 (so the 2♥ would encourage and 8♥ would discourage) unless a switch is clearly warranted in which case we signal suit preference. I didn't want partner blowing a trick in diamonds by switching, so I encouraged a heart continuation with the 2♥. Unfortunately, this was the hand:
and on the third heart, declarer pitched a club and made 3S. Since everyone else was in 2S making 2, 3S down 1 would have been a top. 3S making was a well-deserved bottom. I should have discouraged hearts and left it to partner to figure out what suit he needed to switch to.
I was West and held ♠AK73 ♥A943 ♦J6 ♣943. North opened 1C and South bid 2H described as 5 spades and 4 or 5 hearts. I passed of course and North bid 2S which was passed out. Partner led the 9 of spades and dummy came down with ♠JT862 ♥K752 ♦K3 ♣72. Plan the defense.
This is an unfamiliar auction, but it pays to apply some bridge logic. First: how much does partner have? The opponents passed out 2S, so it is highly likely that they have only 18-22 points. Partner must have 6-10 points. Second: how are the hearts distributed? From partner's lead, he probably has a doubleton in spades, leaving declarer with only 2 spades himself. This means that he has 2 or fewer hearts (with 3, he would have left it at 2H for the possible 8-card fit). So, declarer's points are in the minors. The defense is now clear. Play the two top spades, lead a heart. You will come to 2 spades and 3 hearts in your hand, and partner's minor suit winners will be the setting tricks.
This was the full hand:
I failed to analyze the auction at the table and led a top club back. At this point, partner could have done the same analysis and led the Q of hearts to pin the Jack, but he didn't sniff out the distribution either (it's much easier from my side, so I should have been leading the defense on this hand). The upshot was that instead of going down 2-3 tricks, they made 2S. Another top converted to a bottom.