Bridge

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The Independent Culture
THERE WAS intricate play in Three No-trumps at both tables on this deal from match play. After the lead, nine tricks were available but there were communication difficulties.

South opened #1 and rebid 22 over the 41 response. North played !2 and raised South's next bid of Two NT to game. West led !10 against Three NT, conventionally suggesting two higher honours.

This ran round to the king and one declarer took a successful spade finesse. He came back to hand with a top diamond and led another heart (banking all on finding East with 2A). Alert to the possibility of hampering South's communications, West took his ace and returned #J. South won and repeated the spade finesse, then tried 4A, discarding a diamond. No joy, but East reluctantly parted with his last heart. Next came !Q from dummy and East was in trouble. If he parted with a club, declarer could throw a diamond and follow with 2K to establish three tricks in the suit for, by now, East was out of touch with his partner's major suit winners. If he let a diamond go, South could release a club and, after 2K had lost, come to a long diamond. Fortunately (for I was East), declarer misread this and ended a trick short.

The other South tried a different tack. After the same play to the first two tricks, he led 24 from dummy! East had to play low and, after winning in hand, declarer led a heart. Whether West won or ducked, there were still two quick entries in diamonds and 2K established a second winner in the suit (with access!). Another spade finesse brought in the ninth trick.

Love all; dealer South

North

4A Q J 4 3

!Q 8 7 6

#7 2

2K 4

West East

4K 8 7 6 410 2

!A J 10 4 !9 3 2

#J 9 #Q 8 4 3

25 3 2 2A 10 9 8

South

49 5

!K 5

#A K 10 6 5

2Q J 7 6

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