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The Herald (South Africa) - - Leisure - B Jay & Steve Becker

De­fend­ers some­times have to be a bit cre­ative to achieve their goal of de­feat­ing the con­tract. Con­sider this deal where West led the king of di­a­monds and con­tin­ued with the ace, East con­tribut­ing the 3-6 and South the 2-5. West then shifted to a heart, hop­ing to find East with the ace. De­clarer won with the ace, crossed to dummy with a spade, led the club jack and fi­nessed after East fol­lowed low. When the jack held, the fi­nesse was re­peated, and de­clarer eas­ily made the rest of the tricks and the con­tract. Had the de­fence func­tioned some­what more ef­fi­ciently though, de­clarer would have gone down one. True, East would have had to tell a lit­tle white lie, but there’s surely noth­ing wrong with that if it stops de­clarer from get­ting home safely. East should have played the nine on West’s king of di­a­monds and the three on the ace, pre­tend­ing that he had a dou­ble­ton di­a­mond and wanted an­other di­a­mond lead at trick three. From East’s point of view, his only real hope of stop­ping the con­tract was to force de­clarer to ruff in dummy, thereby en­sur­ing that his king of clubs would even­tu­ally be­come the set­ting trick. This de­lib­er­ate false­card would have fixed de­clarer’s wagon be­yond re­pair. Com­pelled to ruff the third di­a­mond in dummy, South could then have taken only one fi­nesse in clubs, and would even­tu­ally have had to lose a trump to the king and go down one. The prin­ci­ple that ap­plies is that it’s per­fectly OK to in­ten­tion­ally de­ceive your part­ner when a valid pur­pose is served by the de­cep­tion. In the present case, part­ner might be baf­fled when you fol­low suit to the third di­a­mond, but he will surely for­give you at the end of the hand.

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