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The Independent Online
ONE of the most pleasing deceptions in this game occurs when a defender makes declarer believe that a ruff is imminent and so panics him into playing trumps too hurriedly. This hand was nearly a delightful example.

Game all; dealer South

Game all; dealer South


C 8 5

H J 10 9

D A Q J 4 3

S K J 9


K Q 10 4

5 2

8 6

Q 6 5 3 2


A 9 7 6 2

K 4

K 2

10 8 7 4


J 3

A Q 8 7 6 3

10 9 7 5

A South opened One Heart. North responded Two Diamonds and South raised to Three Diamonds. North jumped to Four Hearts and all passed.

The defence started with the king of spades and a low spade to East's ace. East has a diamond trick to come but even looking at all four hands it is difficult to imagine from where a fourth trick for the defence would come. East found the brilliant shot of the two of diamonds] From declarer's point of view this had to be a singleton and, to avoid any danger of a ruff, he scorned the trump finesse and played ace and another heart.

East won and exited with a club to South's ace. With the 'marked' daimond finesse there were still 10 tricks in sight but, for no particular reason, declared played a couple more rounds of trumps.

Oh dear. West, who had totally lost interest by now, parted with what appeared to be a completely useless diamond. After double-checking his arithmetic, declarer now dropped East's king of diamonds. East is still not speaking to West.