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Intermediate and newcomer players - sharpen your game with this series of tutorials. You can browse the index by topic, or read them in order. Learn even more at ACBL's Learn page.

 

 

BRIDGE BITES  #36

      

 

MORTON'S FORK

                                                         Brian Gunnell

 

For those of you whose knowledge of 15th century English history is a bit rusty, we should explain that it gets its name from John Morton, Chancellor during the reign of Henry VII.  His approach to tax collection was that if the subject lived in luxury and had spent a lot of money on himself, he obviously had sufficient income to spare for the king. Alternatively, if the subject lived frugally, he must have substantial savings and could therefore afford to give it to the king. These arguments were the two prongs of the fork, neither offering the subject a favorable choice.  On this deal, Declarer reels in her 6 contract by impaling one of the defenders on a Morton’s Fork.  Or, to use more modern parlance, West is about to find himself between a rock and a hard place.

 

♠ Q7

73

AK642

♣ K743

 

 

 

           Against 6, West leads a trump.  You can count 11 tricks by            means of a Spade, six trumps, two Diamonds and two Clubs.

           A successful Club finesse would get the job done, but you

           remember reading somewhere that experts avoid taking

           finesses unless they are absolutely necessary.  So we ask the

           question: “Is there an expert route to 12 tricks?”

 

        Dummy

 

West            East

 

       Declarer

♠ K9

AKQT92

5

♣ AJ92