Click to follow
The Independent Culture

] K J

_ A

+ K Q 8 3 2

[ Q 8 5 4 3

] 10 7 5 3

_ J 7

+ J 10 6 4

[ K J 6

] 8 6 4

_ Q 10 8 3

+ 9 7 5

[ 10 9 7

] A Q 9 2

_ K 9 6 5 4 2

+ A

[ A 2

I'm indebted to Ron Klinger for this hand - a co-winner of the Brilliancy Prize at the Australian Summer Festival of Bridge - which was played by Terry Brown.

The dealer opened One Diamond and after two passes Brown, sitting South, doubled. West bid Two Clubs, North passed, Two Diamonds from East and South leapt to Four Hearts!

South won the lead of the diamond king and played a small heart from hand to West's ace. West exited with a small club taken by South's ace. When his play of the ace of spades dropped, the jack and the queen was won by West's king, coupled with the bidding, Brown had a count of West's distribution, and, more importantly, East's. However, East still held Q 10 8 in trumps. Finessing would still leave two trump losers. Therefore for the contract to succeed declarer had to reduce his trump length to that of East.

West played a club, taken by dummy's jack and a diamond was ruffed. Dummy was re-entered with the 10 of spades and another diamond trumped back to hand. Having now reduced his trumps to the required length, Brown played a trump to dummy's jack and East's queen.

East now held [10 _10 8 and South ]2 _K 9. He exited with his club (a trump is no better) to dummy's king, South discarding his spade. Now, whichever card Brown led from dummy had to be ruffed by East and over- ruffed by South. It was good to see the play justifying the optimistic bidding.

Ron Klinger's latest edition of his 1993 book Bridge Conventions, Defences and Countermeasures (Victor Gollancz, pounds 9.99) has a chapter on treatments in vogue among top players. If you take tournament bridge seriously this book should prove a valuable asset.