The Friday night IMPs game at the Young Chelsea is still the best game around. Some of yesterday’s internationals may have been replaced by tomorrow’s, but it remains pure, unadulterated fun! The newest superstar in town is French Junior sensation Christophe Grosset, married to our very own Alice Kaye. On today’s hand, he refused to admit defeat when things were going well for declarer, and came up with an imaginary false card that led his opponent astray:
Christophe was West, and led the ♣Jack, East unblocking the ♣Queen under dummy’s Ace. South started brightly with a Diamond to his nine, West winning the King and continuing Clubs. Declarer threw a Spade from dummy, won the trick with his King and tried a Heart to the Jack. This went well, as did another Diamond from dummy to his Jack, bringing his visible total tricks up to eight. Now South played a second Heart, and if Christophe had followed low, declarer would have had an easy nine tricks after the suit proved to be 3-3, but he did not follow low. He followed with the ♥Q!
Taking this card at face value, South worked out that East must be 2-4-5-2, and he spotted a way home: return to hand with the ♥10, cash A,K of Spades and exit a Diamond. East could take three tricks in that suit, but would have to give dummy the last Heart!
Sadly, when he returned to hand with the Heart, and everyone followed, South knew he had been fooled and there was no longer any way home. South could have cashed his Spades before leading the ♥10, but it doesn’t detract from the bright manoeuvre from the French star. Chalk one up for Christophe — with many more to come.