Bridge

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The Independent Culture
BRIDGE IS a game that is packed with infuriating moments. Often it is the activities of your partner that tempt you to give it all up, but there are other irritations. One such was the lot of Howard Weinstein, playing with Tony Forrester, in the Macallan International Pairs earlier this year. Reaching a delicate game that would surely have failed on another lead, he seemed to have an excellent chance of success. With high hopes, he took advantage of this favourable start only to find that - right at the end - the defenders had a final resource.

As North, Forrester opened 42 (weak) instead of the more popular 43. East overcalled with 2 No-trumps (natural) but Mittelman showed his hearts at the 3 level and Forrester trustingly raised to game. On lead, Gabriel Chagas might have chosen #Q - which would have finished matters - but selected the worst possible lead for the defence, a low club.

East took his ace and returned the suit but now declarer took his two club winners to discard a diamond from dummy. A diamond to the king lost to the ace and !J was returned. Declarer won in hand and ruffed his losing diamond on the table, but now had the problem of coming back to draw the last trumps. Reduced to leading a spade from the table, he now saw East win and (judging matters well) return a fourth round of clubs. This promoted a trick for Chagas's !9 and the contract, after all, had to fail. South might have been better off if he had passed 2 No-trumps (or doubled it!) - East would surely have been held to five tricks at most.

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