Bridge

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The Independent Culture
EVERYONE WAS pleased, if a little surprised, when a popular pair won our local duplicate recently. It was an unexpected victory for, although both of them were competent operators at the rubber bridge table, neither could be said to excel at the slightly differently oriented pairs game.

The universal contract on this deal was Four Spades - playing five-card majors, it went (unopposed) One Spade - Three Spades; Four Spades; all pass. West led 2K against Four Spades and it is not hard to guess how the more experienced duplicate players tackled the hand. They won the club lead, drew two rounds of trumps with king and queen, discarded a losing club on a top diamond, and finessed !10.

With any luck, they thought, if the hearts broke 3-3 and the king and jack were both right then, with another entry to dummy, there would be 12 tricks. And, of course, if the finesse lost to the jack, there would still be excellent chances of 11 tricks.

Things did not work out well - West won with !J, led a third round of trumps, and waited patiently for two more heart tricks to come to him.

Well, that was one off, but how did our rubber bridge hero tackle matters? Easy! He took an immediate discard of a club on a top diamond and simply continued with the ace and another heart! West won and led a trump but now a third round of hearts left South in a position to ruff his last heart with 4A and so collect 10 tricks. "I don't understand why they all went off!" was his only comment.

Game all; dealer South

North

4A 7 6

!5 3 2

#A K 7 6

29 6 4

West East

49 4 2 48 3

!K J 9 6 !7 4

#J 4 2 #Q 10 9 8 3

2K Q J 210 8 5 2

South

4K Q J 10 5

!A Q 10 8

#5

2A 7 3

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