APR_10_EB_p30-31 Kambo + CapComp:EB_Layout 3 11/03/2010 18:47 Page 30
cover an honour
with an honour
Andrew Kambites In layout 2 spades are trumps, bid by South
and supported by North. If North leads the Layout 4
jack, East can never gain by covering with ´QJ3
THE idea of covering an honour is to the king. The purpose of covering an N
promote a lesser card to winning status honour with an honour is to promote an ´ 10 5 4 W E ´K762
in your hand, or your partner’s hand. intermediate card to winning status either
However, there are many layouts where it in your own hand or in your partner’s hand. ´A98
is fatal to cover an honour with an Apart from the king, East has only tiny
honour. spades, and West has at most a singleton.
There is nothing to be gained by covering. North leads the queen. If East follows the
On the other hand if West has the ace or general principle of not covering the first of
Layout 1 queen singleton then covering will be fatal. touching honours, then declarer can make
´KJ84 only two spade tricks. However, if East
wrongly covers the queen with the king,
´632 W E ´Q7 Don’t cover an honour with an honour declarer can win the ace and lead the nine
unless there is a possibility of pro- for a successful finesse against West’s ten.
´ A 10 9 5 moting an intermediate card to win-
ning status for your side.
If North leads the jack of spades in layout ´A64
1 East should play low without the tell-tale N
hesitation that would fatally reveal the Layout 3 ´K753 S
position of the queen. South obviously has ´QJ32
the ten or he would not be playing the suit N
that way. If declarer intends to run the jack ´54 W E ´K876 In layout 5, declarer leads the queen and
there is nothing you can do about it. How- West’s dilemma is more difficult. If South
ever, if you play low smoothly, he may ´ A 10 9 has ´Q-J-10-9, then covering the queen
decide that your partner has the queen. In with the king will present South with a
that case he might rise with his ace and fourth spade trick. On the other hand it
run his ten to your queen. In layout 3 East has greater spade length would be too horrible to contemplate South
than South. Provided East doesn’t cover pulling a fast one with ´Q-8-2, In practice,
the first honour played from dummy, West is fairly safe in assuming that South
Don’t cover a jack or ten with a queen South is held to three spade tricks. Again also has the jack. After all, if you were
if declarer might have a two-way there is an easy guideline: declarer how would you play ´Q-8-2
finesse. opposite ´A-6-4 to provide two tricks?
When an honour is led from a Be on the alert
sequence of touching honours through
Layout 2 your honour card, it is usually right to In the following deal South takes your
´J762 keep your honour for the last of the queen of clubs lead with dummy’s ace,
opposition honours. draws trumps in two rounds (he started
´Q W E ´K543 with five) and cashes dummy’s other top
club and three diamond tricks ending in
´ A 10 9 8 This principle is demonstrated again in his hand. He then tries the jack of hearts.
layout 4: Do you cover?
30 English Bridge April 2010 www.ebu.co.uk