A Little Deception Goes a Long Way
by Graham Hedley

One interesting aspect of deceptive plays is that the situation is often quite clear after the event. It is often not so obvious at the table. And it may be even more difficult to spot on the first board of the evening, and at trick two.

This was hand 25 from the Brighton Mixed Pairs, our first board of the session.

Dealer North
EW Vuln
SA 4 3
HA J 10 5 2
D10 5
CJ 9 3
SK Q 10 8 7 5
HQ 8 4
DA J 7
HandSJ 6 2
D9 8 6 4 2
CA K 10 5
HK 9 6 3
DK Q 3
CQ 8 6 4 2

After three passes I opened 1S as West. My partner splintered to 3H. Despite the lack of high card points, I jumped to game.

Holding two aces, North did not have an obvious lead and chose the ten of diamonds. This went to the two, the queen and the ace.

The play then went seven of clubs to the king, followed by the ace, pitching the diamond jack.

Then a small diamond from dummy.

In the cold light of day, it is clear North has lead a doubleton, so South should climb with the king. But how many sitting South would have looked at the three diamond tricks about to be established in dummy, and played low.

Result, the seven of diamonds scores an unlikely trick, and the overtrick converts a good score for bidding and making game (most of the time), into an excellent result.

Yes, a little deception can go a long way.