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Week 0199 : 15th April 2024

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MORTON’S FORK COUP

A term used to describe a play where, like the victims of Henry VII’s Lord Chancellor, Cardinal Morton, a defender is given only losing options.

Here is an example:

As South in 6, you receive a trump lead. You win with the ace and use high hearts from hand to draw trumps. It looks as if you might lose a diamond and a club (if the finesse fails). However, if you play a small diamond from hand towards dummy’s Q-3-2, West has no recourse.

If he rises with the ace, this will establish dummy’s queen for a second club discard (the ♠K will take care of one losing club). If West ducks, the queen wins and you can go on to discard the K on the ♠K, just losing one club.

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