Bridge

West's sharp defence on this hand brought a well-deserved vulnerable game swing for his team, after his team-mates had done well to make a difficult Four Heart contract.

In the other room East passed as dealer and South opened 2NT. North bid Three Hearts, a transfer to spades, South obliged and over North's 3NT converted to Four Spades.

West led the queen of clubs, overtaken by the ace, and East returned the heart queen, covered and ruffed. West's jack of clubs continuation went to declarer's king, who now played a trump to dummy's ace. On collecting West's queen of spades he next successfully finessed the nine of spades. Then he cashed the heart ace, ruffed a heart returned to hand with a diamond, ruffed a heart, another diamond to the king and ruffed his last heart with dummy's last trump, Now a diamond from dummy finished East, the defence coming to just one more trick.

In this room East opened a weak Two Hearts and the final contract was 3NT by South, West led the queen of clubs, taken by East's ace and the club 10 returned, ducked by South and overtaken by West who cleared the suit.

Declarer was home if he could make four spade tricks. At trick four he advanced the seven of spades, intending to duck this to East, the safe hand. But West astutely rose with the queen which forced declarer to win in dummy, thereby blocking the run of the spade suit. Although declarer could now finesse East for the jack, that would still only give him eight tricks. South's only realistic chance was that West had begun with Q J bare in spades, so he played a spade to his king, It wasn't his lucky day and he ended two down.

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