Bridge

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The Independent Culture
IF YOU picked up a bridge book 25 years ago you could only be sure it was really worth reading if the author was one of a select band. Nowadays this group has been joined by a number of younger writers who contribute interesting ideas on both bidding and play. One is Barry Rigal, perhaps better known as a commentator and journalist. I liked this deal from Test Your Bridge Judgement (Cadogan Bridge).

North-South delicately picked their way to Five Diamonds. Three No-trumps would have been playable, but the bidding allowed them safely to explore the possibilities of a slam before stopping in game.

As a problem, you could not see the East-West hands initially and you were invited to plan the play after the lead of the seven of clubs. You play low from dummy (the lead could have been from Q1087) but East wins with the ten and returns a low trump.

Declarer wins, plays a second top trump to find that East has a winner, and follows with the ace of hearts and a heart ruff. The South hand is re-entered with the king of spades and another heart ruffed. East sees that he will be end- played if he over-ruffs, so he discards a spade. Now South ruffs a club in hand and simply exits with a trump. In the four-card ending dummy has SAJ CKJ, declarer S6 HK7 D8, and East, on lead with SQ10 CAQ, has to give declarer his 11th trick.

All too simple? I wonder how many players would have fallen into the trap of cashing their second top heart before ruffing hearts? They would have squeezed dummy before East and then have been reduced to guesswork in the ending]

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