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The Independent Culture
THERE WAS an interesting defensive point at one table on this deal from pairs play. The majority of the field played in 44, scoring 620 points, or 3 No-trumps, to collect either 630 points or only 600. The eventual winners of the event, however, put on steam in the auction and wound their way to #6. (I have not been able to discover their route, but perhaps their Strong Club system helped.)

West led the !4 against #6 and, after winning with his ace, East switched to the 2J, attempting to attack dummy's entries and so make it more difficult for declarer to utilise the long spades. South, however, won in hand with his king and drew just two rounds of trumps before starting on spades. This was good technique for it took care of the situation where the spades were 4-1 but the player with the singleton held only two trumps.

When East showed out on the second spade, South ruffed a spade in hand, trumped his winning !K on the table, and ruffed another spade. Then he drew West's last trump, discarding the 27, to leave dummy high.

All very neat, but can you see how East could have done better? He must return a heart at trick 2, taking away a possible entry to dummy before declarer can use it on the way to establishing the spades.

Then declarer would have thrown a club from the table, tested the spades unsuccessfully (finding the 4-1 break), and attempted to ruff a club on the table, allowing West to score the setting trick with his ten of trumps.

Game all; dealer South


4K 9 6 4 3 2


#8 6 4

2A 7 4

West East

4Q J 8 7 410

!Q 9 8 4 !A 10 7 6 5 2

#10 5 3 #9 2

2Q 5 2J 10 9 3


4A 5

!K J

#A K Q J 7

2K 8 6 2