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The Independent Culture
THIS DEAL, from the 1997 Bermuda Bowl gives keen analysts a rare opportunity. Eric Rodwell duly made his contract but only after missing what appears to have been a sounder line of play. Can you spot it? First, the actual events at the table...

Rodwell opened the South hand with 1NT (14-16 points) - not everyone's choice but, in the partnership's methods, it was a difficult hand to develop after opening One Heart. West pre-empted with Three Clubs and North's double was negative (!). South jumped to Four Hearts and North's raise to Six was passed out.

West led 2Q and, after drawing trumps, declarer tested the diamond unsuccessfully. As it seemed clear that it was East who held the length in spades, he eventually finessed 410 and was then able to claim. But what if West had started with the doubleton jack in spades?

Try this - after winning the club lead, draw trumps in two rounds and cash just one of dummy's top diamonds (catering for the possibility of West being void in the suit), come to hand with a trump and, after cashing 2A to throw a spade from dummy, lead a spade to the king. East takes his ace and undoubtedly returns a spade but South wins with his queen - catering for West having started with 4Jx - and cashes his remaining trumps.

The point is that West, from his opening lead, is most unlikely to hold a side-suit singleton and, once he has followed to two rounds of trumps, it will be a virtual certainty that East will be squeezed in spades and diamonds.

North-South game; dealer South


4K 8 5 2

!A 7 6 5

#A K 10 5


West East

47 4 4A J 6 3

!8 2 !4 3

#7 3 #J 6 4 2

2Q J 10 9 8 7 5 26 4 2


4Q 10 9

!K Q J 10 9

#Q 9 8

2A 3