Click to follow
MORE BRIDGE books are being published now than ever, and with the overall improvement in play, a lot of reading is being done!

The majority of the hands in David Bird and Tony Forrester's latest book, Secrets of Expert Defence (Batsford, pounds 10.99), actually happened in major events. I particularly like this one from the 1995 Gold Cup, Britain's premier open teams championship. Tony Forrester enticed declarer to go off in a lay-down slam by offering a plausible, but losing, option.

The bidding was straightforward; South opened One Club, North responded One Heart, South rebid 2NT (17-18 points) and North jumped to Six No-trumps.

Seated West, Forrester led the jack of spades, taken by declarer with the king. Eleven top tricks are available and the best chances for the 12th comes from either the clubs breaking 3-3 or the diamond queen being onside. Declarer can combine these chances by initially ducking a club, and if they later fail to behave, falling back on the diamond finesse.

However, when he led a small club from hand at trick two, Forrester contributed the jack. Now a third option presented itself. If West had started with either QJ or J10 bare, then by cashing both of dummy's top clubs he could lead the third club towards his nine. Consequently declarer rose with dummy's king, cashed the ace, under which Forrester dropped his queen, so perpetuating the illusion, and played a third club towards his nine - fully expecting East to follow...