Cy the Cynic says you can fool too many of the people too much of the time. He may be right. Decide whether the declarer in today’s deal should have been fooled.
South played at four spades after an old-fashioned auction. (Modern pairs might have used a “transfer” sequence to make North declarer.) When West led the king of hearts, East overtook with the ace and returned the nine, masquerading as a man with a doubleton. West won and led a third heart.
South was afraid to ruff low in dummy — he thought East would overruff — and he expected a normal 3-2 break in trumps. So South ruffed with the queen. He was annoyed when East followed suit and then turned up with four trumps. South lost a trump and a club and went down.
South succeeds by ruffing the third heart low. Maybe he should have reasoned that if West had held six good hearts, he might have opened with a weak two-bid. Still, credit East with a good deceptive defense.
This week: defensive deception.
Daily Question: You hold: & AKJ42 h 543 ( K106 $ 10 9. Your partner opens one heart, you respond one spade and he next bids two clubs. The opponents pass. What do you say?
Answer: Though you have a diamond stopper and balanced pattern, you should resist the urge to bid 2NT. Your partner would like to know about your heart support, such as it is. Jump to three hearts, inviting game. If your five of hearts were the king, you could bid four hearts.