What does he know that you also know?
Occasionally at the bridge table, a player will make a mistake, thinking that he is giving an opponent a guess when it really isn’t a guess at all. In this example, North-South were using a strong-club system with four-card majors. North’s response was a splinter bid, showing gamegoing values in hearts and a singleton (or void) in clubs.
This deal occurred during the 1979 European Team Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland. Against four hearts, West led the club seven (second-highest from a weak suit). The declarer, Dano de Falco from Italy, won East’s club queen with his ace and immediately returned the club jack. When West played low in tempo, South placed the club king with East. Declarer ruffed in the dummy, drew trumps ending in his hand, and led a diamond to the jack and king. East might have shifted to a low spade, but he knew that that was not without risk. Instead, he returned his diamond 10. West took the trick and led another diamond to dummy’s queen. Now South had to avoid two spade losers, but he knew that West had the ace. How?
If East had held that card, he would have opened the bidding. So, de Falco, with no legitimate way to make his contract, led dummy’s spade jack. East, thinking declarer had a guess with the spade king-10 in his hand, played low smoothly. But declarer ran the jack, and when the ace appeared, claimed his contract. East should have realized that he was known not to have the spade ace and covered the jack. De Falco was awarded the Bols Brilliancy Prize for this effort.