HOW TO OUTWIT YOUR OPPONENTS AND THE COMMENTATORS

By Alan Truscott

 

In the match between Greece against Turkey the following deal brought a round of applause for Nafiz Zorlu, who reached a shaky 4H contract.

 

            North/South Game. Dealer East.

 

                           S  AJ853

                           H  AQ6

                           D  KQ

                           C  A62

            S  KQ                        S  9762

            H  9                         H  KT875

            D  T742                      D  J6

            C  KJT543                    C  98

                           S  T4

                           H  J432

                           D  A9853

                           C  Q7

 

         West        North        East        South

                    Assael                    Zorlu

          -            -          Pass        Pass

         3C           Dbl         4C          4H

         All Pass

 

East was happy to have maneuvered South into 4H, but he was less happy with the result. When the dummy appeared, the

commentators predicted that, even with a helpful club lead, South would finish down one.

 

Some years ago, Andrew Robson offered the following Bols Tip: If an opponent makes a preemptive bid and then leads

his suit, he tends to have a singleton trump. Whether Zorlu knew this is not clear, but he played as if he did. After

the opening lead of the C10, a reasonable choice once East had raised clubs, South was able to win with the queen. He

then crossed to the DQ and made the key play of leading a low heart.

 

East had to play low and the jack won. Now South crossed to the DK and led a low spade. West won and played the CK, won

with dummy's ace. South already had five tricks, and was able to bring his total to seven by scoring the SA and SJ.

Now a spade ruff reduced East to three trumps, and when the DA was led he had to ruff and lead into dummy's ace-queen

of trumps.

 

 

Note that it would not have helped the defense for West to play a third diamond after winning his spade trick. South

would have discarded from dummy, allowing a ruff, but the ending would have been similar.

 

It would have been rather better to lead a spade at the fourth trick, with the chance of two spade ruffs in the closed hand with a less advantageous spade position.