THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
TRY TO PAINT THE WRONG PICTURE
One of the arts of defense is painting the wrong picture of a deal for declarer. He thinks the cards lie one way when they actually lie differently.
The International Bridge Press Association Gidwani Family Trust Defense of the Year award was won by Fredrik Nystrom from Sweden. The journalist prize went to Micke Melander from Sweden.
The deal occurred during the 2012 World Mind Sports Games (formerly World Team Olympiad) final in Lille, France. (These were held too late to be considered for that year’s awards.) A natural auction led to South’s playing in four hearts. West led his third-highest club.
The contract did not look too testing. South, expecting to lose at most two hearts and one diamond, won with dummy’s club ace (East dropped the queen, promising the jack as well) and played a trump to his king. West took his ace and returned a low club. Declarer ruffed away East’s jack and continued with the heart jack. What did Nystrom (East) do after winning with his queen?
South, Cezary Balicki from Poland, the world’s 14th-ranked player, needed to get to his hand to draw East’s last trump. We can see that he could have done that in diamonds. However, East cashed his diamond ace, then led his spade nine.
To declarer, it looked as though East had begun with a singleton diamond ace. South, thinking that he had to enter his hand by ruffing the third round of spades, won with dummy’s spade queen and tried to cash the spade ace. East’s ruff was a considerable shock.