BRIDGE

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The Independent Culture
The "discussion" after this deal was so prolonged that a suggestion that the police be called was necessary to restore order.

North opened One Club, South responded Two No-trumps, and North raised to game. West led the jack of spades against Three No-trumps and, at trick 2, declarer finessed unsuccessfully in clubs. East, on lead, played off the ace of diamonds (to the 4, 3 and 9) and continued with +10. Declarer won and rapidly cashed his 10 tricks.

Obviously the defenders had dropped a few tricks in the play...

1) In the modern style West would have led ]10 rather than ]J, suggesting a good suit. Fair enough, this had not been agreed.

2) As his partner's spades might easily only be headed by the jack, it wasn't silly for East to try the diamonds. His partner's three looked discouraging but he couldn't have afforded a higher card with +KQ83.

3) Should East, if deciding to switch to diamonds, have led +10 instead of the ace? This would have been necessary in order to take four tricks in the suit if West's holding had only been as good as +KQ73.

4) Obviously desperate for a spade return from his partner when he saw the club finesse lose, West could have found a better way of discouraging a further diamond play. What about dropping the queen under the ace, denying possession of the king? Now East could hardly have failed to get things right.

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