Page 0030

APR_10_EB_p30-31 Kambo + CapComp:EB_Layout 3 11/03/2010 18:47 Page 30


Don’t always

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.

Layout 5

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


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