Bridge

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The Independent Culture
SOUTH SEEMED to have made a serious error of judgement on this deal when, after West's opening bid of Four Hearts had been followed by two passes, he decided to join in with Four Spades.

The first hurdle was cleared when North, fortunately, elected to pass, allowing his partner some leeway, but West's contract would have been sure to fail and South seemed to be facing a hopeless task in his own.

Clearly it was up to declarer to justify his optimism, and he did so brilliantly in spite of West finding the best lead - the queen of diamonds - for the defence. South allowed this to hold and won the diamond continuation with his ace. He followed with a successful finesse of 2Q, cashed 2A, and ruffed a club in hand before crossing to 4K.

At this point West had been reduced to hearts alone so, although a heart to South's nine allowed him to cash two tricks in the suit, he was now forced to concede a ruff and discard. After dummy had discarded #J, East was left with an awkward problem. What should he discard from his remaining 49 8 #K 10 2J? If he parted with a diamond, one ruff on the table would establish South's six; if he threw a club, dummy would be high.

Eventually East decided to defer his problem by discarding a trump, but this did not help - declarer simply over-ruffed and had the rest of the tricks on a cross-ruff. It was an odd end position - East was effectively squeezed in three suits, one of which was trumps!

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