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The Independent Culture
IF IN doubt in a highly competitive auction, it usually pays to bid one more. On this deal, South followed this suggestion and East did not. In view of the result, East could claim justification for his decision, but it should have cost a bomb . . .

East, as dealer, had a problem. Too rich in controls for a pre-empt and yet short of an opening bid, he passed. South opened One Club, West overcalled with One Spade, and North made a negative double. Now East showed his diamonds, South rebid his clubs, West supported the diamonds, and North jumped to Five Clubs. East bid Five Diamonds, and South had a problem. It was unlikely that there would be a defensive trick in clubs, his king of spades appeared badly played and he could not ruff a third round. So he bid Six Clubs and East-West decided to take their chances in defence.

How should South play after a lead of the king of diamonds? He has no chance if West holds ace and queen of spades, and yet West has suggested a five-card suit with his overcall. So declarer must hope that East's singleton spade is either ace or queen. Try this - eliminate the red suits in the process of drawing trumps, then lead a low spade from dummy. As the cards lie, East wins and has to concede a ruff and discard, but, if he has the singleton queen and the king loses to the ace, then West is end-played.

Alas, declarer missed his way, but, as I suggested, this led to only a small loss when Five Diamonds (undoubled) failed at the other table.

Love all; dealer East


4J 4 2

!A K Q 3

#J 5

2Q J 7 4

West East

4Q 10 8 7 6 4A

!J 9 6 5 !10 8 2

#K Q 4 2 #A 10 9 8 7 6 3

2none 25 2


4K 9 5 3

!7 4


2A K 10 9 8 6 3