BRIDGE

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The Independent Culture
Partner and I were given this hand by Peter Miller, the well-known Welsh player, firstly as a bidding problem after East had opened Three Diamonds. Our auction was simple - South overcalled with Three No-trumps and I raised to Six. This puzzled the audience until it was discovered that we had both been given the South hand!

When this was sorted out, I converted my raise to a more rational pass. Now, does South make Three No-trumps? The suggested defence was a lead of the king of hearts which declarer ducks. West switches to his diamond, East takes his ace and returns a heart which South wins with his ace.

Now declarer crosses to the queen of diamonds (on which West, presumably, throws a spade) and finesses a spade to West's king. If West clears the hearts at this point South has nine top tricks, so suppose West exits passively with a spade. Without a club finesse, South has only eight winners now; but consider West's problems when declarer cashes the rest of the spades and his diamond winner. South is left with _J5 [K3, dummy with [AJ86, and West, still looking for a discard from _Q [Q972, has to give up and allow declarer the rest of the tricks.

Finally, we were told that this was not really the problem at all - at the table South had played in Four Spades. I shall return to the hand next week to describe what happened then.

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