BRIDGE

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The Independent Culture
IT IS rare that failure to make a game that should certainly have succeeded is relatively inexpensive, but it can happen. Take this deal from a recent match...

First of all, just looking at the North-South hands, where would you like to end up? Three No-trumps and Five Clubs are solid spots, and Six Clubs offers reasonable play. It did not go like that in practice.

After a long and involved auction one South ended in a distinctly inferior Five Diamonds. West led his singleton club, which seemed a good start for South who won, cashed the ace of trumps and led another. When West followed with the eight, declarer (worried about a club ruff if he finessed and lost to a doubleton queen) went up with dummy's king.

This proved disastrous - now West had two trump tricks and plenty of time to find the killing spade switch. It was a completely "unsafety-play" in trumps. Say the finesse had lost and West had scored a club ruff - then declarer could claim the rest of the tricks.

Why did it not matter too much? At the other table, after an even longer and more involved auction, North had ended in a revolting Seven Clubs. Timing the hand carefully and taking winning finesses in both minor suits, he duly collected all 13 tricks by establishing the fifth diamond in the South hand.

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