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The Independent Culture
'HOW LONG do you remember hands?' asks a correspondent. Some of them, alas, far too long. Thirty-odd years ago, as a young player, I was participating in the Masters' Individual for the first time and found myself partnering the famous Harrison-Gray in front of a large gallery. What a chance to demonstrate my skill]

South opened One Heart and forced to game with Three Clubs after his partner's response of One Spade. North gave preference to hearts and South went on to Four Hearts, though Three No-trumps was a good alternative.

As West I led the queen of spades and, after winning on the table, declarer finessed the queen of trumps, on which I smoothly played low. Can you see the idea? With only one more entry to dummy, declarer would be sure to repeat the heart finesse (which he thought would win) and thus not be able to take any finesses in the minor suits (which I knew would win). Brilliant]

Well, what went wrong? I have cheated slightly by showing you what I hoped might be declarer's hand. In fact he held S83 HAQ987 DAK5 CAK7 and, once the heart finesse had succeeded and he had to lose only one trump trick, he was not taxed to make 10 tricks.

'Good try, partner]' commented Gray with commendable restraint, as he entered a firm zero under 'Estimated Match Point Score'.