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Sacrificial Defence

Sacrificial Defence

By In 46th World Bridge Teams Championships On 1st September 2023

I liked this deal from the exciting first session of the Bermuda Bowl final partly because it contained an unusual defensive possibility but also because it involved a deal that might be useful for the second edition of The Mysterious Multi.

There is nothing wrong with having a five-card suit for a Multi, but perhaps South’s response is overdoing things as the hand looks defensive in nature.
East led the QuadriK and switched to the Picche7, declarer winning in hand and playing the QuadriJ. East won and played the Picche6 to dummy’s ace. Declarer ruffed a diamond, cashed the PiccheKQ and exited with a heart, but he was out of ammunition, the defenders taking the rest for four down, -800.

East led the Picche6 and declarer won with the eight and played the QuadriJ, East taking the queen and continuing with the Picche7 to dummy’s ace. East won the next diamond with the king and switched to the FioriJ, three rounds of the suit seeing East ruff after which two rounds of hearts allowed West to play another club, promoting East’s PiccheJ for three down, -500 but a 7 IMP loss.

Suppose East were to start with the FioriJ (unlikely, but it results in something nice!). After three rounds of the suit East, having ruffed, exits with a spade. Declarer wins in hand and plays a diamond and East wins and plays a second spade to dummy’s ace, apparently surrendering a trump trick. However, West takes the diamond continuation with the ace and plays a winning club reactivating East’s PiccheJ. Declarer will take only four tricks which would mean a flat board – unless EW found the same defence in the other room which would net -1100.

About the Author

Mark Horton
Mark Horton

Mark Horton British journalist and expert player, was Editor of Bridge Magazine 1995-2017 and now edits the online publication Bridgerama+. At one time, his business cards were inscribed: Have Cards will Travel, but following the death of his most famous sponsor, the Rabbi Leonard Helman, he has tended to concentrate on his writing exploits (in 2018 he had five books published!). Anyone wanting to discover how to lose at bridge on a regular basis (and pay for the privilege) should feel free to contact him. He currently lives in Shrewsbury with his wife Liz.