An Odd Event

Dealer: S
Vul: E-W

J 2
K 10 7
Q J 10 5 2
7 4 2
K Q 9
A Q 9 5 3
K 6 4
Q 10
7 3
J 8 4 2
A 9 8 7 3
6 5
A 10 8 6 5 4

♣ A K J 9 8 3
Lead: A

2 Pass 3 4
4  Dbl Pass   4
 Dbl Pass   Pass Pass 

By Mike Lawrence

The hand here is a story hand that occured in the Lancaster Nationals in 1991. West, North, and South, have asked for and been granted anonymity.

West led the heart ace and East discouraged with the eight. (upside down signals)

West correctly switched to a low diamond from the king, but South ruffed East’s ace. Now the ace and another spade put West in with the queen.

West had nothing good to do and led the heart queen taken by dummy’s king. I doubt that the result of this lead was anticipated by anyone at the table.

At this point, South had to guess the clubs. But before South could decide how to play them, West led a small heart! This gave declarer a penalty card. Right or wrong, South embarked on the following line of play.

Declarer won the king of hearts, discarding a club and led a club to the ace. Now declarer gave West the king of spades.

West was obliged to lead the small heart and East allowed the ten in dummy to win the trick. (By now, South was known to have six clubs so the only hope was to leave declarer in dummy where he might talk himself into misguessing the clubs) Declarer did use this ‘free’ entry to dummy to take the losing club finesse for down one.

There was one interesting aside to this hand that no one seemed to notice. When the ten of hearts was allowed to win, West became unglued. Had South noticed this, East’s plot would have been recognized for what it was.

There is always something new at the bridge table.

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