BRIDGE

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The Independent Culture
WEST FOUND a neat shot in defence on this deal, one which succeeded in diverting declarer from a winning line of play into a losing one.

North opened One Diamond, South responded One Heart, and North rebid One Spade. South tried 1NT and went on to game after his partner had raised to 2NT. West led the jack of clubs against 3NT and East, after taking his ace, returned the eight of clubs to South's queen. (It might have been better for East to have ducked the first trick, but there was just the possibility that his partner had led from a suit headed by the king, jack and 10.)

Declarer set to work on the diamonds and West won the fourth round with his jack. It would have been easy for him to persevere with clubs (with the ace of spades as a sure entry) but he could see that, after winning the club, South would try a spade for his ninth trick and, with the ace appearing, could not go wrong.

It was high time for a diversion, West decided - and the tactic he settled on was to switch to _10! Now declarer could not let this run to his hand without blocking the suit, and he had been given the clear (if erroneous) impression that it was East who was holding the queen of hearts. So he won with the ace in dummy and finessed the jack. West happily took his queen and reverted to clubs and now the defenders came to five tricks.

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