Bridge

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The Independent Culture
THE OPPORTUNITY of a "free finesse" seemed too good to miss for South on this deal. He had been given a far better chance of making our game than I would have had as North if he had bid more sensibly.

West opened Three Clubs, I passed as North, and East raised to Five Clubs. At this point, I am quite sure that South should double after which I would bid Five Hearts. Whether I would have got the play right after a club lead is another matter...

As it happened, instead of doubling, South made the undisciplined bid of Five Hearts and all passed. (Would you have gone on with the North hand? Ah! I knew my partner.) West led the two of spades and, rather naively, declarer tried dummy's jack. He won East's queen with the ace and drew trumps; but there was no way for him to avoid the loss of a spade and two diamonds when it proved that the spades broke badly.

Surely it was wildly unlikely that West had led from ]Qxx? The lead was almost certainly a singleton and, if you make that assumption, the play is easy. Play low from dummy and win with the ace, ruff the two losing clubs in dummy and draw trumps, then get off lead with the ace and another diamond. The defenders are welcome to their two diamond tricks but, if West is left on lead, he has to concede a ruff and discard; and, if East wins the third diamond, he can either do the same or lead a spade into dummy's tenace.

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