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THIS DEAL, from a recent pairs event, illustrates the big advantage that the "bashers" have over the scientists - their opponents are left in the dark.

South opened 41, West overcalled with 22, and North raised to 42. After East had passed, South could have invited game in a variety of ways according to agreement. !3 - "I need help in this suit"; #3 - "This is my second suit"; or 23 - a short suit trial. In real life South tried what is known in the trade as a "Landy game try" (named after Sandra Landy, an aggressive bidder and highly successful player); he bid 44 and tried to make it.

Prospects were poor when West led !K and dummy appeared. East signalled dutifully with his 10 and declarer ducked. He won the heart continuation and, as there seemed no genuine route to success, he decided to put his opponents in and see whether they could find a way to go wrong. He led a third heart, and suddenly it was West who had to win.

Although a peaceful switch to a trump might seem automatic, West was reluctant to lead clubs and instead decided to switch to #9. Do you see what I mean about playing for a mistake?

The diamond switch went to the jack, king and ace, and, after crossing to dummy with a trump, declarer led #8. Rather gloomily East covered with his 10and the vital seven fell under the queen.

You can see the sequel coming. Declarer drew the remaining trumps, ending in dummy, and was able to lead #2 for a successful finesse of the four against East's five. It is hardly surprising that the spade game was not made at many tables...

Game all; dealer South


4A J 8

!6 5 4

#J 8 2

2J 8 5 3

West East

44 3 2 46 5

!K Q J !10 9 8 7

#9 7 #K 10 5 3

2A Q 10 9 6 2K 7 2


4K Q 10 9 7

!A 3 2

#A Q 6 4