BRIDGE

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The Independent Culture
You may remember this deal from last week when I considered a contract of Three No-trumps played by South. At the table, Peter Miller of Wales landed in Four Spades played by South, after East had opened with a pre-emptive bid of Three Diamonds.

Peter played the hand quite neatly after the lead of the three of diamonds. East took his ace and gave his partner the diamond ruff. West got off lead with the King of hearts and, judging correctly that the trump finesse was very likely to be wrong after the pre-emptive opening, declarer won the heart and cashed the ace of spades. The king did not fall - but now the lead of the king of diamonds gave West an impossible problem. With only the bare king of trumps, he had to watch dummy's losing heart go away whether he ruffed or not. Sooner or later West took a trick with his king of trumps, but declarer had the rest of the tricks with a cross-ruff.

Yes, that certainly worked well; but the hand bears a little more thought. What if West is in no hurry to collect his diamond ruff and chooses the king of hearts for his opening lead? Now it is a different story - whatever declarer tries, he has to lose one trick to the king of spades, another to the queen of hearts, and two more to the ace of diamonds and a profitably delayed diamond ruff.

NORTH-SOUTH GAME: dealer East

North

] J 9 7 3

_ 7 4

+ Q 2

[ A J 8 6 4

West East

] K 8 6 ] 5 4

_ K Q 10 8 3 _ 9 6

+ 3 + A 10 8 7 6 5 4

[ Q 9 7 2 [ 10 5

South

] A Q 10 2

_ A J 5 2

+ K J 9

[ K 3

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