Square Hole Square PegMay 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 2 showing both majors. Your RHO bids 2(Non-forcing). You hold K4 73 108765 QJ10. In a part score hand, you fancy your chances of defeating 2 by a trick or two and pass. 2becomes the final contract and you lead Q and the dummy hits the table: Q1095 A82 A4 AK64
Declarer wins the , cashes A, Partner contributes the 2 and the declarer the 3. On the second , partner pitches a and the declarer wins with the K. He now plays a to dummy and a third to you with partner and declarer following. You now shift to a which declarer wins on the table and leads the 13th and ruffs that with the Q while partner discards another .
Declarer who had made a non-forcing 2 bid surely has at least 4 losers in the majors. Yet he has ruffed the master 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 10 for the setting trick).
Now suppose you pitch a and declarer continues with a , the best you can do is to cash your ‘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 ‘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 10 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.