Bridge

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The Independent Culture
Waiting To to cut in, I watched this deal from the "South-East" position and saw the contract tossed to and fro. As always seems to happen, it finally failed and the rubber dragged on, and on (and on...).

South opened One Club, West pre-empted with Four Hearts and, under pressure, North bid Five Clubs to end the auction. West led the king of hearts and, if East had ruffed, it was clear (to me, at any rate, in my advantageous seat) that the contract would have gone down. East, however, discarded a diamond.

Declarer drew trumps in three rounds and led a diamond from dummy. East played low (which looked wrong) and won the next diamond. On lead, East thought for some while before getting off lead with a low spade. Surely conceding a ruff and discard with a third diamond would have been better?

South played low from hand and, although he had now avoided losing a spade, there was no escape from his two heart losers. It was declarer who had made the last mistake. He had only one real remaining hope - to play West for ]J9xx. He should have won the spade return with his ace and followed with a spade to dummy's eight.

East must now either return a spade or give away a ruff and discard - now fatal - for in either case both of South's losing hearts go away.

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