<< Wrong-sided II Bad Fit Deals Another Entry Problem >>

Morton's Fork

A 8 6
Q 4 3
A K J 10 2
Q 4
10 9 4
K 8 7 6 5
9 6 3
9 8
 
Q 5 3
9 2
8 7 5 4
A J 10 3
K J 7 2
A J 10
Q
K 7 6 5 2
It looks like East/West always have two defensive tricks, but looks can be deceiving. If North declares any slam, of course, East can lead a heart and no more than 11 tricks can be taken. But what if South declares?
In clubs, there are obvious trump losers.
In hearts, there's the eventual trump loser(s) as well as the A.
Against a spade contract, West leads a diamond. Declarer can finesse the spade, then play the king and A then run diamonds, pitching from hand, but what? Nothing he pitches avoids two losers in clubs or a club loser and a heart loser.
In fact, only 6 makes.
Say West takes a passive diamond lead, won in dummy. Declarer draws four rounds of trumps, then leads a low club off dummy and East is caught:
A 8 6
Q 4 3
2
Q 4
10 9 4
K 8 7 6
9 8
 
Q 5 3
9 2
A J 10 3
K J 7 2
A J
K 7 2
If East plays the ace, South wins the return, unblocks the clubs then pitches two hearts from dummy on the long spade and the club king.
If East ducks, South wins and runs the spades, pitching the club queen from dummy. He then plays A and J, West getting the king, but East never getting the ace.
This an example of what is called "Morton's Fork" - East is damned if he takes the ace, and damned if he doesn't.
<< Wrong-sided II
Thomas Andrews (bridge@thomasoandrews.com), © 1999-2014.
Another Entry Problem >>
Article formatted with BridgeML.