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The Independent Culture
COMPARISON time in a recent match sounded as though everything had hinged on the bidding. 'We were one down in Four Hearts,' South admitted. 'But we made Four Spades]' claimed a team-mate. The overall result was the same as if Four Spades had failed and Four Hearts had been made - and this should, in an ideal world, have been the outcome.

----------------------------------------------------------------- North ----------------------------------------------------------------- S. 8 4 H. K 9 7 3 D. A 7 6 4 2 C. 9 4 South S. 9 3 H. A Q J 4 D. 5 C. A K J 10 5 3 West S. A K J 7 H. 10 8 5 2 D. Q J 10 8 C. 6 East S. Q 10 6 5 2 H. 6 D. K 9 3 C. Q 8 7 2 -----------------------------------------------------------------

South opened One Club, West doubled, North bid One Diamond and East jumped to Two Spades. At one table South repeated his clubs, hearts were never mentioned, and East-West ended in Four Spades. Incomprehensibly the defence never came to a diamond ruff and the contract slipped through.

At the other table South ventured Three Hearts at his second turn and, when the heart game was reached, West decided to take his chance in defence. He cashed two top spades and switched to the queen of diamonds. After winning on the table, declarer drew two rounds of trumps with the ace and queen and followed with the two top clubs.

Unfortunately, West ruffed and led another diamond. South was forced to ruff, and now the hand was out of control, for East still held the queen and another club.

Suppose that, after the ace of clubs, declarer follows with the jack rather than the king of clubs. East may win and force with a diamond but, after ruffing, declarer simply leads winning clubs. When West ruffs, dummy overruffs with the king and the last trump can be drawn.