Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Deceptive Plays

Last weekend I enjoyed a couple of sessions with a new partner brad Campbell. Well, 3.25 sessions. Didn't do much in the pair game Saturday and we were in good position to win the Sunday Swiss but two very costly unfortunate things happened at the other table in the penultimate round against the eventual winners so we made the low overalls. This is a cute 3NT contract against a fairly week pair for flight A.

♠ xx
♥ Txx
♦ Jxx
♣ KQJxx

♠ AKx
♥ Jxx
♦ KT9
♣ ATxx

My RHO opened 2♠ and I made a marginal 2NT overcall and Brad made a slightly aggressive but probably normal raise to 3. How would you play on a spade lead?

Unless hearts are blocked (very unlikely), there is no legitimate line to make regardless of the diamond position, so I can play straight up for a diamond finesse and hope they don't figure out (how) to cash their hearts. I think a heart shift should be pretty obvious so I try another (more deceptive) line of play.

I ducked trick 1 and won the spade continuation as part of my plan to encourage them to help me score 2 diamond tricks in addition to my 7 top black tricks. Then to encourage them to not take their heart tricks, I led a club to dummy and then a heart to my J. LHO won the K and having no more spades and not wanting to set up my hearts, led a low diamond to RHO's ace, who then cleared spades.

Now knowing the RHO started w at least 7 hcp plus prob all ably the ♥Q ( because LHO surely wouldn't have resisted leading a heart w ♥AKQ and the ♥A would be too much for a weak 2), the diamond finesse is very unlikely to work. So, I ran clubs. This brought us to a 3 card ending, needing 2 more tricks. Dummy has ♥Tx and a ♦ and I have ♥J of hearts and ♦KT. Now I led another heart, endplaying LHO who came down to ♥A, ♦Qx. If she comes down to ♥Ax and ♦Q, I can drop the Q. She has to discard the ♥A to get out of it. RHO surely came down to ♥Q  ♦xx, and then a diamond through at trick 12 would set the contract.

Of course, I'm also down 1 if RHO leads back a diamond immediately after winning the ace. The defender's whole hands were ♠xx  ♥AKxxx  ♦Qxxx  ♣xx and ♠QJTxxx  ♥Qx  ♦Axx  ♣xx. It wasn't quite the misdefense I had anticipated but it worked out this time.