Saturday, 20 May 2017

Playing from the wrong hand

I played in a Charity Teams Event at the Buchanan Bridge Club last week. On one hand declarer won a trick in dummy, then played a card from his hand. The card was already on the table, when dummy pointed out that it was from the wrong hand. I was the defender last to play, and said that I accepted the wrongly played card. Dummy then chimed in to say that declarer can "do what he likes", and could change his card if he wanted to (no one else had played yet). It didn't really matter, to me or anyone else, so declarer put the card away and lead from dummy.

I think I was right though - declarer cannot show a card from the wrong hand then play from the correct hand, as the wrongly played card could be viewed as fishing to see how the defenders react.

Here's the full deal:


Presumably North-South were playing a Strong NT as North opened 1♣. I had the 15 point East hand but settled for overcalling 1♥. The opponents finally settled in 2♠.

I won the Heart lead then switched to a Diamond, which declarer won in dummy. He then lead the ♣J from hand, and I thought "great I'm going to win my ♣K" and so accepted the lead, before we agreed he should play from the right hand. But maybe my eagerness made him suspicious, or he just wanted to continue the suit he'd committed to playing, because he then lead the ♣A from dummy without finessing.

After that we defended well. I recognised the possibility that partner might have the missing ♠Q and ruffed a trick high, and we went on to score Spade tricks separately and reduce declarer to 2♠-1. This gained 4 IMPs when our team-mates played the unlikely contract of 2♣ from South (South was starting an escape from 1NTx and North left it in). Even more surprising is they made it. Why was no one playing with Diamonds as trumps?

The event was the Erskine Charity Handicap Teams. There were eight teams, and before the handicap was applied we scored 68/140 VPs, for 5th place.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

What happens if dummy plays the wrong suit?

What happens if dummy doesn't play the suit that declarer asked for? Normally everyone notices and it's quickly corrected. But what if declarer doesn't notice and plays a card too, and only then notices the mistake?

That was the situation last night, in a teams match at the Buchanan Bridge Club. Here's the full deal and auction:


I sat East and despite the vulnerability went for a risky third in hand weak 2♥. South doubled and I got a bit worried when Phil raised me to 4♥. As he said afterwards, he was stretching, and I'd already stretched. South now bid 5♦, passed out, and hit a fine dummy. On the first trick Phil lead the ♥K, which of course declarer won with his Ace.

At trick two declarer called for a Heart, but dummy played a small Club. I was East and also heard "Club" so played a Club, and declarer didn't notice the error so discarded a Club. Phil also thought declarer had asked for a Club, and saw three Clubs in front of him, so of course followed suit and won the trick with his ♣A. At this point declarer noticed the error and the director was called.

The director (who was, incidentally, our team-mate!) ruled that there was no way of telling who had said what but since declarer had played a card himself without correcting the mistake the trick stood.

Fortunately, it didn't matter as declarer still had twelve tricks, and can never get more than twelve. At the other table our team-mates collected 1100 for 5♥x-4.

The event was the Buchanan Congress Teams, for which Phil and I had partnered Ricky Finlayson and Horst Kopleck. They produced a couple of great boards, including 1♦xx-2, and we made a lot of games and bid three slams. In fact the only two game swings out I can blame myself for. Firstly I ducked an Ace against a slam ("Classic Danny" Anna said with delight when I told her), and on the other one we failed to find 4♥:


I transferred to Hearts, went as far as 3♥ but couldn't quite make it to 4♥. We beat 3♠ by a trick but lost 11 IMPs. About half the tables in the Men's and Women's congresses got to game.

Overall we finished on 110 VPs out of 140 to top the standings.