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Practise the art of camouflage

Tony Priday ( England)

 

TONY PRIDAY lives in London and was the columnist for the Sunday Telegraph for over 35 years. He won the European Teams in 1961, playing with Alan Truscott, and went on to win the bronze medal in the 1962 Bermuda Bowl. He won the Sunday Times Pairs in 1970 and the bronze medal in the 1976 World Team Olympiad playing with his partner of long standing, Claude Rodrigue.

Tony was married for many years to Jane, who won three European Championships. She also won the World Women's Teams in 1964 and the World Women's Pairs in 1966. Tragically, she died suddenly in 1994, but he has since remarried. His new wife, Vivian, accompanied him on his recent adventure as captain of the British open team in the 1996 Olympiad.

Tony has a reputation, not always justified in his opinion, for being the perfect English gentleman. At one championship an elderly lady was heard to remark, 'That is Mr Priday. I'm surprised he is playing for Britain . He is much too polite to be a bridge player.'

 

MILITARY men give much thought to camouflage. Thus a general, when planning a defensive battle, will pretend to be strong in a

part of the line where he is weak. He will also try to appear vulnerable in a place where he is strong.

Defenders at bridge have many opportunities to do the same. When you are strong in a suit, you aim to conceal the fact. There is then a good chance that declarer will misread your strength in another and perhaps vital suit.

This hand was played in a Camrose match between England and Northern Ireland :

 

 

 

East Dealer

 7

 

 

 

Game All

 J 10

 

 

 

 

 A K Q J 10 6

 

 

 

 

 A K Q 5

 

 

 

 

 

             N

 

 

 10 8 4 2

 

 

A K Q J

 A 9 5 4

 

W                         E

 Q 8 7 3

 5 4 2

 

 

 9 7

 7 2

 

 

 J 9 3

 

 

 

              S

 

 

 

 

 9 6 5 3

 

 

 

 

 K 8 2

 

 

 

 

 8 3

 

 

 

 

 10 8 6 4

 

 

W

N

E

S

 

 

1♠

Pass

2♠

Dbl

Pass

3♣

Pass

4NT

Pass

5♣

 

All

Pass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  West led the two of spades against Five Clubs and East quickly saw that the defenders had to try to take two heart tricks. East had opened the bidding, so South would surely place him with most of the strength. On the other hand declarer would still expect West to have one high card, because of his raise to Two Spades.

If East had won the first trick with the jack of spades, declarer would have had little difficulty in placing the vital cards. To camouflage the position, East won with the ace of spades, switching to a low heart. Placing West with the king of spades and East therefore with the ace of hearts declarer rose with the king of hearts and was defeated.

IN that example, camouflage took the form of concealing the strength in a vital suit. Equally  effective is to pretend to more strength than you actually possess.

 

East Dealer

 10 6

 

 

 

Game All

 J 8 4

 

 

 

 

 Q  10 8

 

 

 

 

Q 10 9 7 4

 

 

 

 

 

             N

 

 

Q 7 4

 

 

A 5 2

7 5

 

W                         E

6  3

 A 6 5 3

 

 

K J 7 4

 A 6 5 2

 

 

 K J 8  3

 

 

 

              S

 

 

 

 

K J 9 8 3

 

 

 

 

 A K Q 10 9 2

 

 

 

 

 9 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                           

W

N

E

S

 

 

 

1

Pass

1NT

Pass

2♠

Pass

2NT

Pass

4

 

All

Pass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 You may not approve of North's bidding, but that is the way the auction went in the final stages of Britain 's Gold Cup some years ago.

West led the ace of diamonds and, when his partner encouraged with the seven, continued with the three of diamonds. East took the second trick with the jack and realised that South's shape was almost certainly 5-6-2-0. In that case declarer might well have to take a vital guess in spades. East therefore set out to camouflage his spade holding.

At the third trick East laid down the king of clubs! Declarer ruffed with a high trump and entered dummy with a heart to lead the ten of spades. Convinced that East must hold the ace of clubs, declarer placed West with the ace of spades and so ran the ten. West won with the queen of spades and East's ace in due course provided the setting trick.

 

My BOLS bridge tip is this:

When you are defending,remember the art of camouflage.
If you can mislead declarer in one suit, he may well jump to a wrong conclusion in another.

Even if you cannot come up with a deceptive play, you may be able to give declarer a losing option. And if you give him enough of them he will surely go wrong sometimes.

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