A Bridge Phantasmagoria

      

 

  SWITCHING THE ROAD SIGNS

When it appears that the declarer is heading for the right track, it behoves a defender to offer him an alternative but disastrous route.

 

North
AJ3

 

West
Q105

 

East
764

 

South
K982

 

South leads the two and finesses the jack. When the ace follows, West must drop the queen and there is every chance that South will finesse East for the ten.

Judicious false carding can achieve satisfactory results.

 

North
AJ63

 

West
K2

 

East
1096

 

South
Q754

 

South plays small and finesses the jack. It is now Eastís turn to switch the road signs. If he plays the nine, South may return to hand in a side suit to play the queen in the expectation of dropping the king and ten together.

 

North
AQ62

 

West
4

 

East
K1083

 

South
J975

 

South leads the five and finesses the queen. If East wins the king it will be his last trick in the suit, but if East drops the eight South may return to hand in another suit to lead the jack, once again with the aim of dropping the king and ten together.

 

North
KQ94

 

West
10863

 

East
A

 

South
J752

 

After playing the deuce to the queen and losing to the ace, the natural play for South is to return to the jack and he will discover the marked finesse for the ten. If however, West plays the eight on the first round, declarer will probably be diverted and assume that any length will be with East and will play the king on the second round and lose a trick to the ten, thus losing two tricks.

 

North
Q642

 

West
3

 

East
J965

 

South
AK107

 

Normally South would play the ace and go across to the queen and make all four tricks, but if East plays the nine to the ace, South may now switch plans and continue with the king in the belief that West may have four to the jack.

Finally a hand from a match-pointed tournament.

 

North
S KQ8
H 72
D AQJ84
C 943

 

West
S 972
H A10863
D K3
C KJ6

 

East
S 10653
H Q95
D 1072
C Q75

 

South
S AJ4
H KJ4
D 965
C A1082

 

Against 3NT by South, West led the six of hearts to the queen and king. South now led the five of diamonds and West put up the king immediately, giving South pause for thought. He realised that if the king were indeed singleton, he would later lose the lead to Eastís ten and a heart lead through would be fatal.

Accordingly, he let West hold the trick and when West just switched to a spade, the upshot was that South made only nine tricks instead of ten.

 
      

by Carl Dickel