Camouflage

Hi all

I’ve got a small … riddle for you. I’m pretty sure it has crossed the vast social lands of Facebook and Google+ several times, but I assure you, you don’t want to miss out on this one. First you’ll look at it and wonder what it is and then it’ll dawn on you. Promise!

Here’s another small success from our too short performance at the GNT Open qualifiers. Deceptive Maneuvers in the Dark, with Lew Stansby starring as unsuspecting victim. I’m sitting East.

West
North
East
South
 
 
1NT1
pass
pass
22
pass
2
a.p.
 
 
 
  1. 11-14
  2. &

Geoff leads a trump and this is what I see:

North
AQT4
A8753
Q7
Q8
 
East
J83
T6
AK853
KJ2

Geoff wouldn’t easily lead a trump from an honor card so declarer has KQJ, either third or fourth. I see we can take at most four tricks in the minor suits, so somehow we’ll have to conjure two tricks from the suit. I will assume Geoff has both the Ace and King.

But how do I convince declarer that I’m holding that King?

A cunning plan develops in my head. All I need is a clear moment to execute my devilry.

Lew wins the trump lead in his hand with the King and plays a to dummy’s Queen.

Ding-Ding-Ding!

This is the opening I was hoping for! I win it with my Ace. I return my trump via Geoff’s  9 for dummy’s Ace. When Lew asks for the 7 I play low smoothly, via the 9 for Geoff’s Ten. A proper switch to a and my Jack wins the trick. Next my King smothers the Queen in dummy and a third gets ruffed in dummy.

I can see declarer’s train of thought. This gentleman on my right wearing those brightly colored pants has shown up with the Ace and the KJ, so East needs the King to make up for his weak NT. What are my options?

This is the position now, with the lead in dummy:

North
AQT4
87
 
East
J83
K85

Declarer has lost four tricks so far, so has to limit his losers to one. Lew crosses to a high trump in his hand and plays a to the Ten for my Jack.

Ka-Pow! I flick the King on the table for dummy to ruff. With no way back to his hand Lew has to surrender a trick to Geoff’s King. And down 1 it is.

East Dealer
NS Vul
North
AQT4
A8753
Q7
Q8
West
K92
94
T62
AT943
East
J83
T6
AK853
KJ2
South
765
KQJ2
J94
765

Hehehe, a successful ambush by a guy who usually wears yellow, purple or orange pants. Beware!

Weapon Grade

Hi all

I played with Geoff and Michael & Michael in the GNT Open qualifiers. Our total number of masterpoints matched us to the second seed, a 6-bagger with Lew & Joanna Stansby. The first 3 rounds we had some problems of getting scores in the right side of the scoring column. We kept bleeding little drops of imps, but then in the last quarter things turned around. Unfortunately the 40something IMP we clawed back was not enough to offset a win.

I picked up:

South
AKQJT97
A5
A54
6

Not too shabby! I hear Geoff pass in first hand and RHO opens 1NT (14-16). Our defensive agreements say Astro, so I have a penalty double to my avail. A prime, Class A weapon grade penalty double, so to speak.

LHO passes, and Geoff runs to 2, showing a very poor hand.

I waste little time and jump to 3NT. Thinking I have nine tops, and if they lead a then either Geoff can put down a very slow stopper, or perhaps the suit will split friendly. When West leads a I claim 9 and we’re off to the next board.

This was the full deal:

North Dealer
EW Vul
North
942
Q9632
QJ543
West
43
T8763
J87
972
East
8652
KQJ
KT
AKT8
South
AKQJT97
A5
A54
6

At the other table East opened 1NT, South passed (?!?) and West transferred to . In the rebound South jumped to 4, and found a very lucky doubleton King to score his tenth trick. So I lose a gut wrenching IMP.