BRIDGE

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The Independent Culture
The trouble with this deal was that it all looked too simple to South (Yes, we have all been there...) - in Six Spades he had twelve top tricks if he could pick up the trumps without loss and, if he had to lose a trump trick, one ruff in dummy would be enough.

A rather uncultured auction led South to Six Spades but, after the lead of the ten of clubs, it was clear that his partnership had ended in a sensible contract.

Without giving the matter too much thought (a fatal mistake!) declarer won in dummy and finessed the jack of trumps successfully. With thoughts of an overtrick, he ruffed a club in dummy and led the ten of spades, covered by the queen and king. Alas, West showed out and belatedly South realised that he had problems. He could not clear the trumps for he still had a club loser, and in the vain hope that East would have to follow to four rounds, he started on the diamonds. No joy, for East ruffed the third round and it was all over.

I hope that you spotted the safest play. After winning the opening lead on the table, declarer should lead the ten of spades and, whether East covers or not, play low from hand. Now South is in complete control for, whatever East returns, he can ruff a club in dummy and draw trumps. This play is fool- proof except against the vilest of adverse distributions.

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