BRIDGE

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The Independent Culture
CONTRACT and bidding were the same at both tables on this deal from match-play. Only one declarer, however, saw a way to persuade his opponents to help him

North opened One Spade, South scraped up a response of 1NT, and North raised to game. Against 3NT, both Wests chose the five of diamonds for their opening lead.

One South played low from dummy, hoping that West's holding in the suit included the jack. It did but, after taking his ace, East saw that he couldn't persist with diamonds without giving declarer a trick in the suit. Accordingly, he switched to the queen of clubs. Declarer held off and won the club continuation. All now depended on guessing who held the queen of hearts.

In an attempt to get a count on the hand, South cashed the five spade winners but this hardly helped him. He then decided (correctly) that East had probably started with more hearts than his partner and so finessed into the West hand. Unlucky! He ended by losing five tricks to go one down.

At the other table South saw he could avoid the heart guess if he could persuade the defenders to continue diamonds. At trick 1 he put up the diamond queen from the table and East won with the ace. South dropped first the four from hand then the nine on the continuation. Placing his partner with an original holding of +A1032, West led a third round of diamonds. South won nine tricks without the heart guess.

LOVE ALL: dealer North

North

] A K J 10 4

_ A 10 7

+ Q 7 6

[ A 6

West East

] 8 3 ] 9 7 6

_ Q 8 6 _ 5 4 3 2

+ K J 8 5 + A 2

[ K 8 4 3 [ Q J 10 5

South

] Q 5 2

_ K J 9

+ 10 9 4 3

[ 9 7 2

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