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The Independent Culture
THERE were a number of ways for South to tackle his slam contract on this deal but his chosen line of play catered for the most possibilities as well as illustrating an elegant and unusual loser-on- loser manoeuvre.

The bidding had the merit of simplicity. South opened One Diamond, West overcalled with One Spade, North bid 2NT. South's next bid, a jump to Six Diamonds, stunned everyone into silence and West led the two of clubs to the jack, king and ace. Declarer drew trumps in three rounds and tested the clubs by leading low to the 10 on which West showed out.

As the cards lie, if two more rounds of clubs (losing to East's nine) are followed by the remaining trumps, West is squeezed in the major suits. However, this would fail in the (unlikely) eventuality of West having been playing a cunning bidding game with a seven card spade suit and that it was his partner who guarded the hearts.

Instead, Declarer made the pretty play of leading the jack of spades from dummy and discarding a club from his own hand! West won and exited with a heart, the 10 losing to South's queen. Now the queen of clubs and the last two trumps were led. Dummy kept ]K _K7 [7 while South's last four cards were _A64 +10. On the last diamond, West was squeezed in spades and hearts. Had East been the defender who started with four hearts, he'd have found himself squeezed in hearts and clubs.

EAST-WEST GAME: dealer South


] K J 4

_ K 7 3

+ K 6 4

[ J 10 7 3

West East

] A Q 10 9 8 ] 7 6 5 3 2

_ J 9 8 2 _ 10 5

+ 9 8 5 + 7 2

[ 2 [ K 9 8 5


] none

_ A Q 6 4

+ A Q J 10 3

[ A Q 6 4