Bridge

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The Independent Culture
I AM not sure of its provenance but the following defensive problem has a neat and original point. Clearly the suggested solution does not guarantee the defeat of declarer's grand slam but it does not provide him with a certainty] South opened with a conventional Two Clubs and, after North's positive response of Two Hearts, rebid Two No- trumps to show both his hand type and a point count of 23-24. It was easy now to advance to Seven Hearts and South did well to convert to Seven No-trumps. As you can see, in the no-trump slam declarer can leave his decision of how to play the heart suit until the very end.

The lead of the ten of clubs was natural enough and East followed with the two, suggesting three cards in the suit. With every high card placed for him, West could see that declarer would have all 13 tricks unless he held precisely the 3-3- 3-4 distribution that he did.

After winning in hand, declarer started with three rounds of diamonds. Now, what should West discard? A club is safe and correct but it is not immediately obvious that a spade discard from the 4 3 2 would be fatal] Suppose West does part with a spade - South plays off the rest of his clubs and three rounds of spades.

By now West is marked with exactly five clubs, three spades, two diamonds and therefore three hearts. So, after cashing the king of hearts, declarer can finesse the jack of hearts with confidence. In just the same way, East cannot afford to part with a spade when the clubs are cashed for again this will enable declarer to complete his accurate count of the hand. But if neither defender ever discards a spade, South is left with a horrid guess at trick 12.

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