PLAY and DEFENCE for Improving Players
GIVE THEM A CHANCE TO GO WRONG.
A standard time for false-carding is as declarer when the first round of a suit is played and you fear a ruff if you follow meekly low. Name me a defender who has not at some time been fooled by the jettisoning of an unnaturally high card and I will make you wealthy. (Note the amount to be paid is not specified.)
However, the opportunities to false-card crop up in other ways, too. The declarer on the following deal should not have succumbed to an apparent false-card but the defender had very little to lose.
|Pass||2 ♣||Pass||2 ♠|
|Pass||3 ♠||Pass||4 ♠|
West knew from the invitational sequence to game that their partner had some values and decided to look for a diamond ruff. With trump control, there was some chance of this being a successful ploy. 3 lead went to the 9, Q and A.
Lower from equals?
Why not J from East, lower of two equals, the standard play in this situation? East decided to hide the true diamond situation from both their partner and declarer. It would probably not matter much to West to think that the J was with South while once in a while, a declarer will believe that East had denied the J at trick 1.
West won the Q continuation and perhaps hoping East held K continued diamonds with 2. South fell for it and finessed, in itself not terminal though the diamond ruff which followed was, as the A had still to be lost…down 1.
An inferior line?
So, you spotted that South found a way to go down in a cold contract (rise with the ace, draw trumps and concede a trick in each minor)? Unless the initial lead was from J7632 with East to ruff the second round of diamonds or where East had QJ doubleton and West the A..to gain that ruff), the finesse would gain an overtrick but could as here cost the contract. What did South make of West’s 3 then 2? East’s play to trick 1 gave South an authentic chance to go wrong.
Had East played J at trick 1, then West’s play of 3 followed by 2 could certainly be from the doubleton it was, perhaps more likely than the lead from a 5 card suit with only 6 missing. Thus, East’s play gave South more of a chance to go wrong and contributed to the defeat of the contract.
Praise that wily fox!
One can debate whether South was unwise or unlucky in their play but unquestionably, the play of the Q at trick 1 contributed to their downfall.