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The Independent Culture
IT SEEMS odd that the best defence against Three No-trumps on this match-play deal meant attacking declarer's long suits, but it worked.

At one table South opened Two No-trumps and North bid Three Hearts (a transfer to spades). South dutifully bid 34, and North, having shown five spades, went back to Three No-trumps, not wishing to heat up the bidding by showing his second suit.

All passed, and West led J!. Dummy's queen won, and East intelligently discarded 72, suggesting an even number of cards in the suit. With one sure entry to dummy taken away by the lead, South started on clubs and, with no choice, West won. It was now critical for the defence. Consider what happens if West leads either red suit - South wins, unblocks clubs and has a spade entry to the two club winners. West got it right by making the unlikely switch to 24! It was easy for East to duck, in effect killing dummy.

It was all over now; dummy was dead, and South restricted to one spade, three hearts, two diamonds and two clubs which all added up to one off.

At the other table, playing a Strong Club system, a mysterious sequence led to Four Spades played by South. Again defence was with it. West cashed his A2 and switched to a heart. An unexpected ruff was followed by a club ruff, but the defenders could only come to the ace of trumps. Again a one-trick defeat and so a flat board. Exciting, though.

Game all; dealer South


4K Q J 10 4


#10 6

210 9 8 6 5

West East

42 4A 7 6 5 3

!J 10 9 8 7 6 5 !none

#Q 9 7 3 #J 5 4 2

2A 27 4 3 2


49 8

!A K 4 3 2

#A K 8

2K Q J