Bridge

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The Independent Culture
THE LURE of a vulnerable game proved too much for North-South on this deal and, with few helpful clues, West missed a chance to remove a vital entry to dummy before declarer was ready to use it.

Playing five-card majors South opened 41 and, after a pass by West, North made an awkward-looking raise to 43. Not to be outdone, in spite of his unattractive distribution, South bid one for the road and West started with !J against 44. East won with his ace and, with the vague idea of preventing heart ruffs on the table, returned a trump.

South won this switch and continued with a low heart to West's nine. It seemed natural for West to follow his partner's defence (perhaps South had started with !4?) and he led 4Q to remove another trump from the table. However, South won, played off 2A and 2K, and ruffed a club. He entered dummy with a heart ruff, trumped another club in hand, and crossed to the table with #K. Now the losing diamond went away on the established club and South lost only one more trick, to West's 4J.

West should have foreseen the danger of dummy's club suit. He might well have counted three club, four spade and two diamond tricks for declarer and could not prevent a heart ruff for the 10th. His only defence, when in with !9, was to play a third round of hearts himself, forcing dummy to use up an entry before any clubs had been ruffed. Then South would not have been able to avoid losing a diamond.

This all confirms my conviction that dubious games are far easier to make than defeat.

North-South game; dealer South

North

47 6 3

!7 5

#K 10 9

2A K 6 5 3

West East

4Q J 5 410 4

!K J 10 9 !A 8 4 2

#J 5 #Q 6 4 3 2

2Q J 9 7 24 2

South

4A K 9 8 2

!Q 6 3

#A 8 7

210 8

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