A Bridge Phantasmagoria

      

 

A CASE FOR THE FRAUD SQUAD

Game all: South deals.

 

North
S K93
H J97
D AK3
C K642

 

West
S 10742
H K8432
D J7
C 107

 

East
S 865
H A65
D Q1096
C QJ9

 

South
S AQJ
H Q10
D 8542
C A853

 

 

Bidding

South

West

North

East

1C

-

1D

-

1NT

-

3NT(end)

 

Using fourth best leads, West opened play with the three of hearts. East won the ace and returned the six. West allowed the queen to hold the trick and followed with the four of hearts as if he had only a four card holding.

Lulled into a false sense of security by Westís devious play, South played off the clubs. East won the third round and returned a heart for West to run the suit. A disconcerted South had to suffer one down.

Had South paid any attention to Eastís return of the six of hearts, he might have suspected that something was afoot and that in fact this was a Case for the Fraud Squad.

The accepted return when holding four in the suit and partner has led a fourth best is to return a fourth best. So where was the deuce? South can apply a test by going over to the king of spades and himself lead the jack of hearts, discarding a diamond. If the hearts should split, there is no danger. If West has five and takes them, the only chance is that East will find discards an embarrassment. Assuming that after taking the hearts, West exits on a spade the ending becomes as follows:

 

North
S 3
H -
D AK3
C K6

 

West
S 107
H -
D J7
C 107

 

East
S -
H -
D Q109
C QJ9

 

South
S A
H -
D 85
C A85

 

The ace of spades squeezes East in the minors and the losers are restricted to four heart tricks.

 
      

by Carl Dickel