The best defense found in France
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-J10 of spades (that being more likely than a singleton queen), but East’s falsecard deserved its success.