Source: Thursday 4 February 2010

 When an opponent plays something that might or might not be a true card, it’s best to believe it.

Tony Forrester
Tony Forrester

“Sorry, partner,” said Tony Forrester to David Bakhshi after this deal from 2010 Gold Cup final.

“I ran into a desperately unlucky trump break – the suit was 3-2 with the finesse right.”

My counterpart at the Daily Telegraph was not being entirely serious – he had in fact run into a simple yet devilish false card from his opponent, Gerald Tredinnick.

Love all, dealer North.

(1) A variant of the “multi-coloured 2“, showing a wide variety of hands, one of which might be…

(2) a weak two bid in , in which case North would pass, but since he in fact had …

(3) a strong three-suited hand with short , he bid the suit below his singleton, whereupon …

(4) his partner made an artificial enquiry, and when North showed … (5) 19-20 points. South converted to game in the 4-4 major-suit fit.

West led his singleton , East put in the 10 and South won with the K. It seemed a dull hand – Forrester would take the  finesse, draw a second round of trumps, knock out the A and lose a trick in each suit apart from . But when he led a  as the first stage, West played not the J but the K.

David Bakhshi in Antalya

David Bakhshi

Aware that this might not be a singleton, Tony also knew that when an opponent plays something that might or might not be a true card, it’s best to believe it. You may pay off if they have done something brilliant, but don’t look foolish if they have been following suit. If the K were West’s only , the contract might still be made with favourable splits in the other suits, but it would be fatal to draw a second round of trumps – that would allow East to draw two more rounds when he obtained the lead, which would be hopeless.

So Tony left the  alone and fatally played dummy’s K. West won with the A, gave his partner a  ruff, received a  ruff in return and played another  to promote his twin brother’s 10.