Bridge

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The Independent Culture
IT LOOKS impossible to lose two trump tricks when you have Q J facing A 10 9 8 7 2 but it happened at least twice in the European Championships in Menton, which finished last week.

South played in Four Hearts after East had overcalled in diamonds. West led the ten of diamonds and the king lost to the ace. A trump return would have been far and away the most effective defence but it was not clear to East whether it was West or South who had started with the singleton diamond.

East's return of the four of diamonds (a McKenney signal for a club return should West be able to ruff) allowed declarer to discard a club. The ace, king and another spade followed and, when East could not over-ruff, it was clear who held the king of trumps.

South followed by trumping a diamond with his ace (on which West discarded a club) and ruffed his last spade on the table. Next came the king of clubs to East's ace and declarer was forced to ruff the next diamond lead high while West discarded another club. A high heart now lost to West's king and he led his carefully preserved 13th spade. East upper-cut with his five of trumps and now West eventually came to a second trump trick with his six.

It would have been more pleasing, aestheti-

cally, if East's trumps had been the four and the three, and West held K 6 5 but it was still an elegant defence.

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