BRIDGE

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The Independent Culture
IT IS a truism, often overlooked in the heat of battle, that when you have to make a discard you should part with a card that cannot possibly be of any use, rather than one that might conceivably take an active part. This was a good example.

South opened One Spade, North raised to Two Spades, and East doubled. South's jump to game proved fortunate, for, after West had led the jack of clubs, dummy turned up with suitable cards.

East overtook the jack with his queen and, when this was allowed to hold, attacked hearts by leading the ace, king and a low one. Declarer ruffed high and West, who had by now lost whatever interest he might have had, parted with a low diamond.

In view of East's take-out double and West's discard, the diamond finesse looked a poor bet, so declarer cashed the ace of clubs and ruffed a club, then played off four rounds of trumps, discarding two diamonds from dummy. East had to retain the king of hearts and so had to part with a diamond. Now the ace and king of diamonds left South with the winning five.

My preamble should have given you the clue - if West had held on to all of his diamonds, he would have made the setting trick with his six at the end. "Never mind," said East consolingly to his partner, "I am sure that I would have done the same." I think that he was being over-kind.

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