Bridge

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The Independent Culture
A PART score of 20 can be annoying. Take this deal. There would have been no problem wrapping up nine tricks in a no-trump contract but South had a lucky escape in his suit contract after the defenders made a good start. North opened One Heart, South responded One Spade, and North rebid 1NT (showing 15-17 points). Prepared to have a go at game, South forced with Three Diamonds and passed when his partner preferred spades. West led the eight of hearts against Three Spades and East, reading his partner's lead, encouraged with his six. The danger of a heart ruff was clear to South but he had no quick entry to dummy so there was no chance of throwing his remaining hearts on dummy's clubs. Declarer won in hand and led a trump. West played low on the first round but won the second and led his other heart. East took his ace and played back the three for West to ruff. West, on lead, had to hope that his partner held a minor suit ace. Unwilling to lead away from his king of diamonds, he chose a club. Now South was able to discard three of his diamonds on dummy's winner and make his contract.

Poor play. West's partner had led the three, rather than the two, of hearts, suggesting a return in diamonds. Furthermore, if South holds the ace of diamonds, he will make his contract with four spades, two hearts, two clubs and a diamond for nine tricks. East, in his turn, could have simplified matters for his partner by cashing the ace of diamonds before giving the heart ruff - now West could not possibly have gone wrong.

NORTH-SOUTH and 20: dealer North North

] K J 10

_ Q J 9 7

+ Q J 5

[ K Q J

West East

] A 5 3 ] 9 2

_ 8 4 _ A 6 3 2

+ K 3 2 + A 8 6

[ 9 7 6 4 2 [ 10 8 5 3

South

] Q 8 7 6 4

_ K 10 5

+ 10 9 7 4

[ A

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