Goren Bridge Society

High-level swindle

East-West vulnerable, West deals

Today’s deal is from a high-level team competition late last year. East-West were one of the best pairs in the world, with a sterling track record over the last 40 years or so. Lucky for the rest of us, even the greats can have momentary lapses. What would you bid over two diamonds with the South hand? A two-spade bid would have led to a four-spade contract. West would have to give his partner a heart ruff to defeat that contract, by no means a sure thing. The massive holding in opener’s suit convinced South to bid two no trump rather than two spades. North-South’s aggressive contract would have rolled home on any lead but a club, but West found the winning lead. Declarer put up dummy’s king of clubs at trick one, wishing that he had bid two spades. The king held the trick, but the contract still had no chance. The defence had to have at least four club tricks plus the ace of hearts. Assuming a normal split in spades, declarer only had seven tricks. What to do? The enterprising declarer tried for an unlikely swindle. At trick two, he led the 10 of hearts from dummy and played the king from his hand. West ducked smoothly. No harm so far. South now continued with a low heart toward dummy’s nine. Expecting his partner to win this trick, West played low. South ran like a thief with his nine tricks.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 10:30:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/high-level-swindle/article19932565.ece

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