BRIDGE

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There were interesting possibilities in Three No-trumps on this deal from match play. One declarer got home legitimately, the other only after a defensive slip.

South upgraded his hand to a Two Club opening and rebid Two No-trumps over the negative response of Two Diamonds. North raised to game and West led the nine of hearts against Three No-trumps, which declarer won.

So far the bidding and play had been the same, but now came a divergence. With only one sure entry to dummy, there was little point in using it to play spades for, most of the time, this wouldn't be enough to yield three tricks in the suit even if the queen were well placed. One South led the king of spades from hand at trick two; West slipped up when he took his ace and continued hearts. Now the 10 and nine of spades provided an extra entry to the table, and the favourable club position allowed declarer to take four tricks in the suit with the aid of a finesse. It would have been a different story if West had allowed the king of spades to hold.

The other South led the seven of spades at trick two. If West plays low, an extra entry to dummy could now be forced. Possibly suspecting that South held ]KQJ7, West went in with the ace and continued hearts. Declarer won (blocking the suit) and ran the jack of clubs. East won and cashed the queen of hearts, but declarer now had three club tricks and three tricks in spades, with the aid of the now marked finesse, to give him his contract.

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