Mark Horton

Reversing the Rabbi’s Rule

Is anyone out there who does not know about the Rabbi’s Rule? Here is an unusual example from the Silodor Pairs where it was a defender who took advantage of the situation:

Dealer:  North

Vul: None

9 5 4
A Q 7 6 3
J 10 5 2
West East
A K Q 8 7 2
K J 10 9 8 4 2
7 L Q 9 4
A 9 8 6 5 3 10 2
J 10 6 3
A 6 4 3
Q J 7 4
West North: Horton

East South: Helman

Pass Pass Pass
1 1 Pass Pass
1 Pass 1NT Pass
2NT All Pass

The Rabbi led the five of hearts and declarer put up dummy’s king which lost to the ace. To the human eye it looks obvious to switch to a diamond (although my finessing friend tells me that a spade is the best defence). I have a sneaking suspicion that a low diamond is the best shot but just in case I tried the jack of diamonds, covered by the king and ace.

The Rabbi returned the three of diamonds and with some foreboding I contributed the ten which declarer won with the queen. He continued with a heart to the jack and I won with the queen.

Rather than play a diamond I decided to reverse the Rabbi’s Rule and tried the effect of playing the king of clubs.

When declarer ducked I exited with a spade. Seeing no danger declarer now played a low club and the Rabbi was able to win with the jack and exit with a spade, locking declarer in dummy and ensuring one more trick for the defence.

Not a spectacular number of matchpoints for N/S, but the sort of average plus board you need to keep your score ticking along.

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