BRIDGE

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The Independent Culture
SOME PLAYERS seem to have been born under a lucky star. One such was South on this deal - he started by playing hastily to the first trick, but was able to take advantage of a favourable lie of the cards to stage a brilliant, if fortuitous, recovery.

South opened 1NT (12-14 points) and caught his partner with a Two Clubs opener. North launched into a Gerber enquiry with Four Clubs, and learnt of two aces. He followed up with 4NT, asking for kings; in spite of South's denial, he still bid 7NT.

West led the nine of diamonds against 7NT and, moderately pleased with what he saw, declarer won in hand with his ace. Too late, he realised the drawbacks to this play: for both major suits were blocked and he had just used up his only safe entry to hand. Never mind, he thought, perhaps the diamonds will break.

Declarer first played off [A, then made a start by cashing dummy's top hearts. When East discarded a club on the third round, he turned his attention to the spades - cashing the ace and king, and overtaking the jack with his queen. West showed out, however, but South was now able to cash his ace of hearts, throwing the losing club from the table.

There was, of course, still the chance of a favourable diamond break, but can you see the end position? Dummy has +KQ65, declarer ]10 +3 [Q9, and poor East is looking for a discard from ]10 +J107 [K. Quite inadvertently, South had engineeered a perfect example of a repeating squeeze.

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