BRIDGE

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The Independent Culture
Browsing through some old match records, I came across this neat deal from the 1960s - a time when the Italian Blue Team seemed invincible. As usual in those days, their Bermuda Bowl opponents were the Americans and it was Giorgio Belladonna who stole the limelight.

North opened One Spade, East passed and Belladonna (as South) responded Two Hearts. North rebid his spades and Giorgio - never a shy bidder - jumped to Four Hearts.

West led the king of clubs and declarer won. There were nine obvious tricks and a number of possibilities for the tenth. He started by leading a low diamond and ducking in dummy - good technique, keeping control in the suit with the chance of taking a diamond ruff on the table. East scotched this plan by playing the ace and another trump.

Reduced to trying another tack, South won, drew the last trump, and ducked a spade all round - perhaps the suit would break 3-3? It did not, but there was now a new danger for the defenders. Two top spades and a spade ruff would establish the eight of spades as a winner.

To counter this, East was compelled to lead a diamond to drive out dummy's side entry. A good try, but not good enough, alas, for declarer now played off his remaining trumps and, at the end, East had to unguard either the diamond or the spades.

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