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How you can get caught in Morton’s Fork

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This week’s hand, once again, employs a play I have written about often, the Morton’s Fork!

See the hand in Figure 1 and the bidding, which was competitive and instructional, in Figure 2.

Figure 1
Figure 2

The first three bids were all fine: East’s two heart bid was amateurish, yes – partner has hearts but you need more than a worthless two-point hand made up of a Queen in the opponents’ suit to take a free bid at this point. West understandably took another bid and when North showed his two-card spade support, South took the aggressive raise to game.

South had to justify his sporting bidding after West led the Queen of hearts. There was no hope of ten tricks unless trumps were three-two. Even if trumps behaved, there was still the matter of losing at least one trick in each minor.

Declarer found a neat solution to this problem. After winning the first trick with the Ace of hearts, declarer led the three of clubs. This caught West in a Morton’s Fork. If West played a low club, dummy’s Queen would win the trick and declarer’s King of clubs would be discarded on dummy’s King of hearts. Then, finding the spades and diamonds both to be three-two, declarer would claim ten tricks: four trumps, two hearts, three diamonds and the Queen of clubs.

At the table, however, West rose with Ace of clubs and exited with a heart to dummy’s King, on which declarer threw a diamond from hand.

After playing a trump to his Ace, declarer cashed his King of clubs then exited with a low trump to West’s King. West played a third round of hearts.

Declarer ruffed and led his Queen of diamonds. This was covered by West’s King and dummy’s Ace.

Next, declarer threw his remaining low diamond on the Queen of clubs. East could take his Queen of trumps but that would be the third and last trick for the defenders.

Great play, which meant that South did not have to explain his bidding to partner!


Monday, May 30


1. Lisa Burland – Greta Marshall

2. Wendy Gray – Richard Gray

3. Gertie Barker – Jane Smith


1. Julia Beach – Aida Bostelmann

2. Martha Ferguson – Betsy Baillie

3. Molly Taussig – John Luebkemann

Tuesday, May 31

1. Jane Downing – Jamie Sapsford

2. Barbara Elkin – Neil Gilbertson

3. =Malcolm Moseley – Mark Stevens

3. = Heidi Dyson – Amanda Ingham

Wednesday, June 1


1. Lisa Rhind – Jack Rhind

2. Julia Beach – Magda Farag

3. Molly Taussig – Tony Saunders


1. Jane Smith – Gertie Barker

2. Judy Bussell – Dorry Lusher

3. Caroline Svensen – Jane Clipper

Thursday, June 2

1. Jane Smith – Magda Farag

2. Claude Guay – Sharon Shanahan

3. Rachael Gosling – Molly Taussig

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Published June 04, 2022 at 7:58 am (Updated June 04, 2022 at 7:41 am)

How you can get caught in Morton’s Fork

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