Deceptive Card Play by David Bird, Marc Smith

By David Bird, Marc Smith

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Most defenders, if they hold the king, will either cover instinctively or, at least, make it clear that they thought of doing so. If the ♠K appears, your problems are over. If East plays low without a flicker the ♠K is almost certainly offside. You will rise with the ♠A and, later, fall back on the heart finesse. Playing in this way, you are likely to succeed if either major-suit king is onside. Note that it would not be a good idea to draw trumps first. Once East knows that you have a six-card trump suit, he can count you for ten tricks in the minors and the major-suit aces, a total of twelve.

J953 ♣ A K 10 7 2 N W E S ♣4 ♣Q86 West leads the ♣A against your spade contract. It makes no difference to you whether East’s four is a singleton or from 4-2 doubleton. Either way, the defenders have a ruff to take. Furthermore, the position will be clear to West as soon as he cashes his king. You must therefore find a way to prevent him from doing so. 30 • Deceptive Card Play Your only chance is to play the queen under the ace at Trick 1. If the suit is distributed as shown, then West may take your queen at face value and switch, playing his partner for ♣864.

A93 ♥ Q 10 7 2 ♦ J 10 6 3 ♣A4 B. N E W S ♠64 ♥KJ4 ♦A82 ♣KQ852 WEST NORTH EAST pass 3NT all pass 1. SOUTH 1NT1 12-14. West leads the ♣3. Plan the play. If you play low from dummy, East will play the ten. 46 • Deceptive Card Play Answers To Questions A. If you capture East’s ten of hearts with the jack, it will be clear to West that the defense has no future in that suit. If he wins the first club trick, he is sure to table a spade. You want West to continue hearts, so encourage him to do so by winning Trick 1 with the king.

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