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The Independent Culture
BEFORE ALL my readers leap to their typewriters and e-mail machines, there is a further point that is worth making about this deal, which appeared recently.

You may remember the main story line: most declarers came to only eight tricks in their contract of Three No-trumps in spite of their partnership's high point count. East held off once in diamonds and, with dummy's long suit now dead and the clubs dividing 4-2, it was all over.

A couple of declarers succeeded (as told earlier) by leading #7 to dummy's king and continuing with the queen, leaving East uncertain whether to win or duck as he was unable (at this stage) to interpret his partner's play of the four on the first round of the suit.

Oddly enough - and this is why we are revisiting the deal - declarer has a winning line, whatever the defenders do. It is not, however, the sort of play that you would try in practice, depending (as it does) on guessing the precise distribution of the opposing cards.

Suppose declarer plays like this: he wins the lead of 410 and, apparently pointlessly, ducks a round of hearts. He wins the return and cashes everything in sight to leave dummy's diamonds intact, himself with !5 #7 2 27 4, and East with #A 10 8 2J 10. Now South exits with either minor suit and, after taking his three winners, East has to concede the last two tricks to the diamonds on the table.

Quite subtle, and an idea worth bearing in mind, although (on this deal at any rate) not very practical.