Friday, January 9, 2009

"No, baby" yourself

–noun chiefly bridge. A card played to give an opponent a mistaken idea of the quality or length of one's holding in the suit led. (Also, the act of making such a play.)


I played at the Lightman Bridge club last night with Dee. The second round we played a newlywed couple. This was the first board (hands rotated and low cards approximate where immaterial):

K Q 6 4
A 10 7 3 2
K 9 5 3
2 J 10 7 5
Q 9 8 6 J 4
K Q 10 7 5 A J 9 2
A Q 6 10 4 2
A 9 8 3
K 5
8 6 4 3
J 8 7

I was North and opened 1. Dee responded 1 and West overcalled 2. What would you do with my hand? I jumped to 3. Yes, I don't have the high-card points for it, but my void is in the suit they bid which improves my hand. Dee bid 4.

West led the K, ruffed in dummy. Dee led a heart to her king and ruffed a second diamond. She continued with the A and led another and ruffed low when East discarded a club. She ruffed a third diamond with the Q and led another heart from dummy and ruffed as East discarded a second club.

Declarer now led her last diamond and ruffed with the K as both opponents followed. This was the position:

K 9 5 3
2 J 10 7 5
--- ---
Q --
A Q 6 10
A 9
J 8 7

At this point, Dee had taken eight tricks. She led the good 10 from dummy. East could see that if he/she discarded or ruffed low, declarer would win two more spade tricks to make the contract, so he/she ruffed in with the J. Declarer overruffed with the ace (this is a mistake -- she should discard if she knew the position) and led a club. West took the A and was at the crossroads. He/she thought for a while and led the Q.

"No, baby," said East out loud. East saw that if West had led a club (instead) for him/her to ruff, he/she could draw declarer's last trump to set the contract one. Instead, South scored the 9 en passant. Two other pairs also made 620, so this was good for a 6 on a 7 top for our side.

Do you blame West? I blame East. When East ruffed with the J, that falsecard didn't fool declarer. South knew what her combined spade holding was. It did fool West. If South had the (good) 10 left, the contract could not be defeated. The diamond lead would make her ruff with it, however, and that would likely hold the contract to four (an important consideration at matchpoints, obviously).

When you falsecard and it fools your partner, it's best to just keep your mouth shut. I'm just sayin'.

Notice I said he/she and him/her in the narrative above? I did that so you can guess who was the male and who was the female. You get three guesses and the first two don't count.

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