Square Hole Square Peg

May 14, 2013

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When not to make the “Obvious” play is certainly the mark of the expert. He has a very good reason when he does not make the normal play. The corollary of this is that when an expert makes an unusual play, beware! Be prepared to counter with an unusual play of your own.

North opens 1NT (15-17) and your partner overcalls 2C showing both majors. Your RHO bids 2D(Non-forcing). You hold SK4 H73 D108765 CQJ10. In a part score hand, you fancy your chances of defeating 2D by a trick or two and pass. 2Dbecomes the final contract and you lead CQ and the dummy hits the table: SQ1095 HA82 DA4 CAK64


Declarer wins the C, cashes DA, Partner contributes the 2 and the declarer the 3. On the second D, partner pitches a S and the declarer wins with the K. He now plays a C to dummy and a third C to you with partner and declarer following. You now shift to a H which declarer wins on the table and leads the 13th C and ruffs that with the DQ while partner discards another S.

Declarer who had made a non-forcing 2D bid surely has at least 4 losers in the majors. Yet he has ruffed the master C in dummy with his master trump! Why?


Suppose he had pitched a loser on this trick, all you have to do is to ruff this trick and cash three more Major suit winners and have partner on lead to push a Major suit card (the suit you are void of) through Declarer’s QJ ( to promote your D10 for the setting trick).


Now suppose you pitch a H and declarer continues with a H, the best you can do is to cash your S‘s. But now you will have 3 trumps and declarer only two. You will be forced to ruff partner’s winner and lead into declarer’s J9 of D‘s.


So counter declarer’s unusual play of ruffing his only remaining side suit winner with his master trump by under-ruffing! Now you and declarer have equal length in trumps and partner can be on lead at the appropriate time to let you score the D10 for the setting trick.


An opponent’s unusual play countered with an unusual play of your own.


Round Hole – Round Peg.
Square Hole – Square Peg.


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posted on May 14, 2013
in Articles, Defense, Play
tagged , , ,
about author B. Prabhakarbprabhakar

Prabhakar B.

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