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The Independent Culture
When you watch you partner go down in a game contract that he could have made, how do you react? Shout, sympathise, or apologise for your aggressive bidding?

As North I opened One Diamond, East overcalled with One Spade, and South bid Two Clubs. West supported his partner's spades and I raised to Three Clubs, East fought on with Three Spades and, after South had contested with Four Clubs, I bid "one for the road".

West led the six of spades against Five Clubs and, after winning with dummy's ace, declarer decided that a simple trump finesse was his best bet. It was not.

Instead of taking the trump finesse, declarer should have concentrated on establishing the diamonds for a heart discard. Best is to come to hand with the ace of clubs (the king might drop!) and, when it does not, run the seven of diamonds. East wins with his ten and switches to hearts but now declarer can win, play a diamond to the ace, and ruff a diamond. Then he enters dummy with a spade ruff to discard a heart on a winning diamond.

This line only fails when West holds the guarded king of clubs and a doubleton diamond, and so can over-ruff the third diamond and cash a heart. It succeeds whenever East holds the king of clubs and when West holds three diamonds.

GAME ALL: Dealer North


] A

_ J 5

+ A J 9 8 6 3

[ Q 8 5 3

West East

] 10 7 6 ] K Q 9 8 4 2

_ K 8 7 4 2 _ Q 10 9 3

+ Q 5 2 + K 10

[ K 2 [ 4


] J 5 3

_ A 6

+ 7 4

[ A J 10 9 7 6