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The anti crocodile coup

One doesn't have to be an expert on warfare to know this; First came the missile, and then later the anti missile, designed to deflect the former from its intended target.

'What has this got to do with bridge?' you may well ask.

You are sitting West in a very strong team game when you are dealt the following hand;-

West
AKJ1042
86
8653
8
W
N
E
S
2
X
P
3
P
4
P
P
P

Your opponents play Lebensohl after a take out double of a weak 2 bid, so 3 was constructive. Your partnership has the arrangement that you lead the K from A-K if you want to switch to a singleton.What do you lead?


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Rightly or wrongly, you decide to start with the 8.

West
AKJ1042
86
8653
8
North
875
AQ10
KQ
AKJ102
East
South
W
N
E
S
2
X
P
3
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
8
A
3
5
1
1
0
A
3
4
8
1
2
0
Q
2
5
6
1
3
0
10
7
K
4
3
4
0
3
5

When dummy comes down it strikes you that North might have bid 3 instead of raising to 4 immediately. Declarer, a world class player, puts up the A, and draws trumps - playing the A, Q and a 3rd to his king, partner following three times. To your absolute amazement, declarer continues by playing the 3. Just what exactly is going on here - and why isn't he going after the suit?


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Partner must have the Q, you decide, and as you begin to think more about the hand the picture starts to become quite clear. Declarer clearly doesn't have all 4 missing - and if he has a doubleton you can't beat this contract. He must have exactly three of them. But if he had played a to the 10, partner would win and play back his , and the defence would get their four tricks before declarer could run the . But what if partner's singleton is the queen? If you play the 10 he will have to win it, and now the defenders will be cut off from one another. Declarer will win the return and play on , coming to eleven tricks.

Aah, but a well read, top class defender like you won't be falling for this little manouver. You know all about the Crocodile Coup, where a defender in 2nd position rises with an unnecessary high honour, and like the jaws of the crocodile, swallows up his partner's honour. So, you put up the K, readying yourself for the following layout ;-

West
AKJ1042
86
8653
8
North
875
AQ10
KQ
AKJ102
East
Q
732
J9742
Q743
South
963
KJ954
A10
965
W
N
E
S
2
X
P
3
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
8
A
3
5
1
1
0
A
3
4
8
1
2
0
Q
2
5
6
1
3
0
10
7
K
4
3
4
0
3
K
5
Q
0
4
1
5

 

Declarer has played this hand with great guile - finding a very unusual, clever line, putting you under enormous pressure to find the winning defence. You are just about to bask in the sunshine of partner's smile when you look at the trick -

And see that partner has in fact followed with the 9, not the queen!

Just what is going on here?

All you can do is cash the A next and partner shows out! Now declarer tables his cards and claims - this was the ACTUAL hand;-

West
AKJ1042
86
8653
8
North
875
AQ10
KQ
AKJ102
East
9
732
J9742
Q743
South
Q63
KJ954
A10
965
W
N
E
S
2
X
P
3
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
8
A
3
5
1
1
0
A
3
4
8
1
2
0
Q
2
5
6
1
3
0
10
7
K
4
3
4
0
3
K
5
9
0
4
1
5
}

Declarer gave you plenty of credit alright, deciding out that you were good enough to figure out the Crocodile Coup. He also knew from your vulnerable weak 2 opening that you almost certainly had to have the AK. If you started with AK109xx and partner the singleton jack he would always get home with the suit blocked. But if not, he realised for sure that playing on would lead to failure, so he came up with a great swindle, a hitherto unseen play - the anti Crocodile Coup.

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