BRIDGE

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The Independent Culture
How Do you rate South's chances in Four Hearts on this deal from the qualifying rounds of the Women's Team Olympiad in Rhodes last year? It led to a wide variety of results - take, for example, the match between Norway and Greece...

The Norwegian South duly made Four Hearts, assisted by a diamond lead. Was there a defence? For West to give her partner an immediate club ruff does not help for now dummy's clubs are good for discards. Perhaps, after a passive trump lead, declarer might well misguess the clubs. Then West ducks the next club lead and, in the fullness of time, the defenders come to two more tricks. At any rate, the collection of 620 points could hardly be bettered (or so thought North-South). At the other table there was an intriguing modern auction. North opened Two Hearts! - showing either the black suits or the reds. Judging it must be the former, South passed. If West had kept quiet, her side would have gained comfortably but - feeling that they were being talked out of something - unwisely re-opened with a double. North made an SOS redouble, insisting that South choose a black suit. South, however, was well content with the prospects in Two Hearts re-doubled and passed. Imagine North's feelings before dummy appeared! Had there been a monumental misunderstanding?

Playing safely, declarer made eight tricks for the unusual score of 840 points.

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