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The Independent Culture
WHAT DO you say to your partner after he's conducted a well-meaning but unsuccessful defence? I have been on the receiving end of many comments over the years. Perhaps the kindest were "Good try, partner", and "Never mind, you gave it your best shot". As West on this deal, however, I contented myself with a sympathetic smile.

East opened One Heart, South overcalled with One Spade and, after I had passed, North tried Two Diamonds. Partner fought on with Two hearts, South rebid his spades and although I contested with Three Hearts, North now bid Three Spades and South went on to game. I led !2 against Four Spades and, after taking his two tricks in the suit, partner had a problem.

Returning a club would be hoping for too much after my first round pass and East, regarding the menace of dummy's diamond suit, attempted to cut it off by returning a diamond. This would have worked beautifully if declarer had started with, say, 4K,10,x,x,x,x !x,x #x,x 2A,K,x, for East would play a second diamond when in with 4A and this would have ensured four tricks for the defence.

It did not work well, for South unsportingly held the wrong hand. As he had a singleton diamond, two clubs were immediately discarded and all we came to now was the ace of trumps. There was a defence, albeit not an obvious one, which depended on my holding 410,x,x. Suppose East leads another heart at trick three. Declarer ruffs in hand and starts on trumps but East holds off on the first round. He wins the second and now leads a fourth round of hearts, promoting my 410 for the setting trick.

Love all; dealer East


4Q J

!6 3

#A K J 10 8 3

2J 7 4

West East

410 3 2 4A 4

!Q 8 2 !A K J 10 9 5

#5 4 2 #9 7 6

2Q 10 9 5 28 2


4K 9 8 7 6 5

!7 4


2A K 6 3