BRIDGE

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The Independent Culture
WEST paid more attention to the cards played by declarer on this deal than those played by his partner. As a result, he fell into a trap.

North opened 1NT, East overcalled with Two Hearts, and South bid Three Hearts - forcing to game. With no heart guard and only three spades, North was reduced to bidding his clubs and, when South con- tinued with Four Diamonds, raising to game. West led the three hearts against Five Diamonds and declarer ruffed the heart continuation.

Two rounds of trumps failed to drop the queen; there seemed no possibility of avoiding a club loser as well. Or was there? Declarer cunningly led the nine of spades to the jack, cashed the ace (dropping the queen), and led the 10 to his king. Then he led a trump to give West the lead and a problem.

It appeared to him that South had started with a 3-1-5-4 distribution. In that case, if his clubs were as good as AJxx, a club lead would be fatal, but a ruff and discard would not help declarer, who would still lose a club at the end. So West obliged with another heart. Dummy ruffed, South's losing club went away, and only later did South's hidden eight of spades appear.

West had not watched his partner's spades too closely and had missed that they had been the 2, 3 and then 4. Had East started with C8432, he would surely have petered to show an even number.

EAST-WEST GAME: dealer North

North

] A J 10

_ 10 6

+ K 8 5 3

[ A 7 5 3

West East

] 7 6 5 ] 4 3 2

_ J 7 4 3 _ A K Q 9 8 5

+ Q 10 7 + 2

[ Q 10 4 [ J 8 6

South

] K Q 9 8

_ 2

+ A J 9 6 4

[ K 9 2

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