Bridge

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The Independent Culture
AN ODDITY in this game is the potential of a side suit where dummy holds Q J x x x and declarer a singleton. If the missing top honours are divided and West holds only three cards in the suit, two extra tricks may be developed from an unexpected quarter.

In a pairs competition, a number of pairs ended in Three No-trumps. The remainder chose Four Spades via One Spade (five-card major); Two Hearts; Two Spades (suggesting a six-card suit); Four Spades.

It looked as though there were the same 10 tricks in both spades and no-trumps, with the latter scoring better, but some declarers in Four Spades were alert to their extra chances.

They won the opening lead of the queen of diamonds and immediately led a heart. West, not unnaturally, played low and dummy's jack lost to the king. Declarer won the diamond return, crossed to dummy with a trump, and ruffed a heart. Dummy was re- entered with a second trump and another heart ruff brought down the ace. After drawing the last trump, the king of clubs provided an entry to two heart tricks.

Would it have helped West to take his ace of hearts on the first round of the suit? No, for with the queen and jack in dummy, declarer can take a ruffing finesse against East's king for one discard and still have the entries to the table to establish and use the 13th heart.

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