BRIDGE

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The Independent Culture
"WELL played!" enthused dummy after his partner's success on this deal. It was true that declarer had taken a difficult winning guess, but was it really necessary?

South opened One Club, North responded One Heart, and South forced to game with Two Spades. North raised to Three Spades, South tried Blackwood and, disappointed to hear of only one ace, settled for Five Spades.

West led the two of hearts which to declarer looked like a singleton and he took the precaution of ruffing the heart return with his king. West showed out, but a spade to the jack lost to the ace and East led a third heart.

Should South ruff low or high again? If he ruffed high there would be the new problem of whether to play for a 2-2 trump break or finesse against a possible guarded nine with West. South got it right, ruffing with the queen, and finessing the seven.

Life would have been much easier if South had overtaken his king of diamonds with the ace and led a low trump from dummy. If West has the ace there is no problem: in practice, East's Ace would beat air and a third heart could safely be ruffed high in hand.

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