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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.