Bridge

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WHEN YOU reach a good slam in the face of a dramatic barrage by your non-vulnerable opponents and circumvent a bad break with the aid of a squeeze, you expect congratulations from your partner. South is still waiting, for all that North had to say was "Well, the bidding was all right..."

East, at favourable vulnerability, opened Five Clubs and, after a pass by South, West raised pre-emptively to Six Clubs. This left North, who had been wondering what to open if he had heard three passes, with little option but to double. This would have been worth 800 points but South, not unreasonably, decided to try his luck with Six Spades. All passed and West, rather unimaginatively, led 49 against the slam.

After winning with dummy's ace, declarer discarded #10 from hand and drew trumps. Then he led a low heart. he was bound to lose a trick in the suit and wisely did not rely on a 3-2 break. West won with the nine and returned !Q. Declarer won in dummy and played the ace, king, and another diamond which he ruffed.

Three more rounds of trumps followed and, as West had to discard before dummy, he was forced to unguard either the hearts of the diamonds and give declarer his 12th trick.

So, why was North so sparing in his praise? Perhaps carried away by the successful outcome of the auction, declarer had had a complete blind spot in the play. He should have discarded a heart, not a diamond, on 2A. Then he draws trumps and takes a diamond finesse. Even if it loses, #K will take care of South's last losing heart.

North-South game; dealer East

North

4A K 7 3

!A K 6 4

#K 6 3 2

2A

West East

42 410 8

!Q J 10 9 !2

#Q 9 8 5 #7 4

29 8 5 2 2K Q J 10 7 6 4 3

South

4Q J 9 6 5 4

!8 7 5 3

#A J 10

2none

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