The best de­fense found in france

The Hamilton Spectator - - FUN & GAMES - by Phillip Alder

As we all know, de­fense is the hard­est part of the game. Some play­ers, though, have a feel for it and find coups most would never con­sider.

Sit­ting East in this deal from the World Youth Ju­nior Pairs was Sag­nik Roy from In­dia.

Can you see what he did af­ter his part­ner, Say­atan Kushari, led the heart five against four spades?

South’s one-club open­ing was ei­ther nat­u­ral or a bal­anced hand with 12-14 or 18-19 points. North’s one-heart re­sponse showed spades.

West led low from his triple­ton be­cause he had not sup­ported his part­ner’s suit. If he had raised hearts, he would have led the nine, top of noth­ing.

Since de­clarer had three top losers (one spade, one heart and one di­a­mond), he needed to play the club suit with­out loss.

The best line would have been to cash the club ace, then, when West dropped an honor, to en­ter the dummy and take a sec­ond-round fi­nesse.

As you can see, that would have worked.

How­ever, South, af­ter win­ning the first trick with his heart king, cashed the spade ace, and East dropped the queen!

De­clarer cashed his club ace, led a low trump and, af­ter West played low, fi­nessed dummy’s eight. He got a rude shock when East pro­duced the 10, cashed the heart ace and shifted to a club, which West ruffed to de­feat the con­tract.

Yes, per­haps South should have as­sumed that East started with Q-J-10 of spades (that be­ing more likely than a sin­gle­ton queen), but East’s false­card de­served its suc­cess.

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