Bridge

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The Independent Culture
THIS WAS a deal of swinging fortunes - it looked easy but became difficult. South made an excellent try to land his contract, but the defenders had the last word.

South opened One Spade, and North, after contenting himself with a 1NT response, raised South's heart rebid to game. West led #Q against Four Hearts and declarer's start seemed straightforward. He won in dummy and led 4Q, reasoning that, if the spade finesse was right, he would lose only two trumps and a diamond; if the spade finesse lost, he might well lose only a spade and two trumps.

The finesse duly lost, and West continued with #J to the king. Two top spades followed, and West accurately trumped the jack with 42 (a ruff with !K would see dummy's losing diamond go away). Dummy over-ruffed, and declarer, after coming to hand with 2A, ruffed a spade.

After returning with a club ruff, the losing diamond went away on the established fifth spade. Yes, East could, of course, ruff, but then !A and !K would fall together.

This all looked very neat, but West found an accurate counter when, on the fourth and fifth spades, he discarded his two remaining diamonds. East duly ruffed the last spade with !5, but now he was able to lead a diamond for West to ruff with his !K, and the defenders still had !A to come.

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