Source: St. Petersburg Times – 4 Jul 1977

Stage magicians are fond of saying “The hand is quicker than the eye,” but what they really mean is that the hand is quicker than an eye that’s looking in the wrong direction. Naturally, there’s a bridge hand that proves all this.

Dealer South All Vul

K 7 3
5 2
Q 9 5 4
J 7 5 4
J 9 5 4
K 8
J 7 3 2
9 8 3
A 10 8 6 2
10 7 4
K 10 8 6
6
Q
A Q J 9 6 4
A
A K Q 10 2
West North East South
2
Pass 2 Pass 2
Pass 3NT Pass 4
Pass 5 Pass 6
Pass Pass Pass

When veteran New York expert Sam Fry played today’s hand some years go in a national tournament, his opening bid showed a game-going hand but not necessarily a club suit. The response of two diamonds showed a very weak hand. The other bids were normal. Fry made the key play at the first trick by playing dummy’s queen of diamonds!

East, naturally put up the king, and Fry had to win with his singleton ace. It all happened very quickly. Fry next led a club to dummy’s jack and returned a heart for a finesse. West took the king of hearth and triumphantly led the jack of diamonds. South obviously had a losing diamond since he had tried to win the first trick with dummy’s queen.

MISDIRECTION

This was just what Fry had been aiming for with his misdirection at the first trick. West didn’t think of a spade trick because his eye was looking in the wrong direction. Fry ruffed the jack of diamonds, drew two more rounds of trumps and ran the hearts to discard dummy’s spades. Declarer could then ruff the spade loser and claim his slam.