DON'T SEND A BOY ON A MAN'S ERRAND
When the Morse team lost their second-round Vanderbilt match, one of the partnerships had an unfortunate accident
(the names have been concealed to protect the guilty). You pick up:
with both vulnerable and you hear your left-hand opponent open 2S. Partner doubles and RHO bids 4S. You try 5H and hear a surprising 5S on your left. Partner doubles and all pass. On the lead of the HA you see this dummy:
You follow with the jack for suit preference. Alas! Partner does NOT get the message! When he plays a club, declarer claims. This was the full hand:
S 72 S T4
H AQT5 H KJ9732
D A73 D --
C KT82 C QJ965
It is difficult for West to work out the diamond ruff. However, if you play the KING OF HEARTS at trick one, even a slow-witted partner will be properly hit on the head and get the message.
DECLARER DECEPTION -- LIFE IMITATES ART
As someone who has just published a book on declarer deception, I am always on the lookout for opportunities to persuade the defense to go wrong. The next board gave the East player an option to combine deception with good technique.
Dlr: North H 8532
Vul: Both D KJ74
S KJ92 S 75
H AQ4 H K76
D T9 D AQ532
C AJ63 C T82
Most East-Wests reached 3NT on an unhelpful heart lead. Declarer obviously will win this in hand and should advance the D9, putting North in an awkward position. It would be a major error not to cover if the actual layout exists, but a disaster if declarer has D 986 and partner the singleton 10 (remember this the next time you hold D 986!) If North covers you can still succeed, but it requires some very good views.
If you win the diamond and play a spade to the jack or 9, you can then establish a long club --duck a club, win the heart return in dummy and play a second club. North wins and plays a third heart, and you win in hand and duck a club. Now you take two spades, three hearts, two diamonds and two clubs for your contract.
TAKEN FROM THE VANDERBILT
In the first round of the Vanderbilt, Fred Gitelman and George Mittelman cooperated nicely to defeat what seemed like a comfortable partscore by their opponents.
Dlr: South S 73
Vul: Both H J52
S J84 S AT6
H KT9 H A73
D T952 D QJ64
C KT6 C 963
WEST NORTH EAST SOUTH
- - - 1S
Pass 1NT Pass 2H
Pass 2S All Pass
On the lead of the S4 Gitelman put in the 10! Declarer won the queen, crossed to a top diamond and played a spade to the 9 and jack. Mittelman played a third trump, which Fred of course won, and he exited with a high diamond. Declarer took the king, pitching a heart, and played a club to the jack -- and George ducked!
Now declarer was dead. He had to lose three hearts, one club and two spades for one down. It probably did not improve declarer's mood when he realized he could have recovered from his bad guess in spades by ruffing the second diamond and setting up the clubs, playing for both hearts and clubs to split 3-3.