THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
YOU KNOW THE TRUTH; HIDE IT FROM HIM
Aldous Huxley, an English author who died in 1963, said, “An unexciting truth may be eclipsed by a thrilling lie.”
The truth in this deal is, I think, exciting, containing as it does a thrilling lie.
What should happen in four hearts after West leads the diamond jack?
When North passed, East opened with a weak two-bid, showing six good diamonds and some 6-10 high-card points. (In the second position, you should have a textbook hand for a pre-empt because your partner probably has a decent collection.) Then South bid what he hoped he could make. He knew he might miss a slam, but that was not likely, given partner’s initial pass.
South seemed to have only three losers: one diamond and two clubs. But declarer also knew that West’s opening lead was a singleton. However, East did not. South, trying to hide the truth from East, made a thrilling lie when he smoothly dropped his diamond king under East’s ace.
Now East, believing declarer’s card, shifted to his singleton spade. South won with his ace, drew two rounds of trumps, cashed his other top spades, crossed to dummy with a heart, discarded a loser on the spade jack, and claimed.
If South had played his low diamond at trick one, East would have given his partner a diamond ruff at trick two. (He ought to lead the nine, his middle card, because he does not know which suit he wants his partner to lead at trick three.) West will then cash the club ace, under which East will signal enthusiastically with his eight. Another club to the king would defeat the contract.