Bridge

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The Independent Culture
SOME lively bidding on the deal below carried North-South to a slam that not many pairs would reach. It was a fair slam, but declarer met an intelligent and co- operative defence and, as a result, misjudged the end position.

North opened One Heart, South responded Two Diamonds, and North rebid his hearts. When South followed with Two Spades, North had a variety of possible bids. Three Diamonds, Two No- trumps and Three Clubs were alternatives but he chose an aggressive Four Diamonds. Now South jumped to Six Diamonds.

West led the king of clubs against the slam, removing an entry from dummy and so making it impossible to use the long heart suit. This persuaded declarer to play on cross-ruff lines and, after winning with the ace of clubs, he cashed the ace of spades and trumped a spade. Then he came back with the king of hearts and ruffed another spade. When he discarded his losing club on the ace of hearts, East followed with the jack]

Next came a club ruff back to hand, on which West followed with the queen] The last spade was ruffed and the problem now was getting back to hand to play trumps. West's play of the queen of clubs looked suspicious, so declarer led a heart from the table. East completed the deception by following with the queen and, convinced that West held another heart, South ruffed low.

West over-ruffed and exited with a club. With nothing but trumps left, declarer was forced to win and concede a second trump trick to East's king.

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