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THREE OF the players on this deal from rubber bridge gave rein to their imagination. As East, with little scope for brilliance, I had to be content with taking the setting trick and collecting a plus score.

West opened One Spade and North doubled. As you can see, a pass by South would have worked well but, as that might have proved dangerous, South bid One no-trumps and West passed. Now North had a problem - his partner had been given little room for manoeuvre and the range for his One no- trumps was, of necessity, wide. Feeling that he was worth a forward move, North tried Two Spades (doubtless planning to pass a possible bid of Three of a minor). Most players would have stolidly bid Two no-trumps now but South, with his very safe spade guard and a better hand than he might have held, jumped to Three no-trumps and all passed.

A spade lead did not look attractive and West's choice of #2 proved a happy one. Dummy played low, I won with the jack and, with nothing better to do, returned 22. Declarer tried the nine and, after winning with his ace, my partner got off lead with #10. In South's eyes this did not appear inconsistent with an original holding of #Q 10 xx, so he won on the table and unblocked with the nine, preparing for a later finesse.

South continued with !Q from dummy and West held off. !10 followed and again West held off for, otherwise, with an entry to hand, declarer would have had an easy run. Now South had four heart tricks but the lead was still in dummy. After cashing the hearts he exited with a low club to West's queen. West cashed the ace and led #3. Having already formed the wrong view of the diamond suit, declarer finessed dummy's eight and so lost to my now lone queen.

Game all; dealer West



!A Q 10 9

#A K 8 4

2K J 9 4

West East

4A 7 6 5 3 4J 4 2

!K 8 5 !7 4 2

#10 3 2 #Q J 5

2A Q 210 7 6 5


4K Q 10 9

!J 6 3

#9 7 6

28 3 2