Reading Eagle – 8 Oct 1936

Occasionally we see a hand which is so well played and so well defended that it gives us extreme pleasure to present it. In today’s hand, which occurred in a recent rubber bridge game, Lewis Bernard, one of Cincinnati’s leading players, defended in the West position. He succeeded in fooling the Declarer by making one of the most spectacular false-card plays we have ever seen.

South, Dealer North-South vulnerable; North-South 40 on score

Mr. Bernard, stoutly defending against the opponents part score, managed at considerable risk to push them to a contract of three spades. His partner, with an almost blank hand, could do nothing. Hence the Declarer was able to place Mr. Bernard with practically all the missing high cards.

The Ace of clubs was opened and continued, and Declarer, after winning the second trick, finessed dummy’s ten of hearts, losing to East’s King. A diamond return was won by Declarer’s Ace, and he then played a heart, winning in dummy with the Ace and discarding his last heart on the Queen of clubs. The Jack of hearts was ruffed by Declarer, following which he played the Ace of spades, on which Mr. Bernard not wishing to be thrown in with a trump, dropped the King. Declarer now led a small diamond and Mr. Bernard, after cashing two tricks in that suit, played his fourth club.

Declarer trumped with dummy’s ten, and East, who held two small spades and the 13th heart, suspecting his partner’s false card, dropped one of his small trumps to create the illusion that he held nothing but trumps. Declarer then finessed for the Jack of spades, which Mr. Bernard won to set the contract. Had Mr. Bernard played the Jack of spades on Declarer’s Ace, the contract would have been made, as Declarer would then have played a small spade, putting Mr. Bernard in and forcing him to lead from his King of diamonds.