BRIDGE

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The Independent Culture
You do not often get more than one chance at this game and, when South missed all of his opportunities on this deal, he wondered if he had created a record.

North opened One No-trump and South responded Three Hearts. North raised to game and West led the six of spades against Four Hearts - a trump would have been a safer lead.

Declarer was forced to take an immediate finesse and was pleased to find dummy's queen winning. Obsessed with the idea of discarding a possibly losing club, he came to hand with a top trump, repeated the spade finesse, and threw a club on the ace. Then he started on diamonds by playing the ace and another to his ten.

West won with the jack and led a second round of trumps. Declarer was forced to win this in dummy but could not easily get back to hand to take a heart ruff. He tried a low club from the table but East smartly went in with his queen to lead another trump and kill South's chances.

A low club from dummy at trick 2 would have worked beautifully (East might not even play his queen); trying for a diamond ruff also works well, and there was only one club loser anyway if South has to lead the suit from hand. Finally, declarer could have saved the day by leading the king of clubs instead of a low one. West has to win and has no more trumps to play. Now a diamond can be ruffed for the tenth trick.

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