BRIDGE

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The Independent Culture
Co-operatioN in defence should be one of the great pleasures in this game. On this deal, however, it was declarer who enjoyed East-West's efforts when they combined to help him to get rid of three potential losers, all in the space of one trick!

South opened One Heart, North raised to Two Hearts, and East overcalled with Three Clubs. South jumped to game and, although both East and West gave the matter some thought, this ended the auction.

West led the seven of clubs against Four Hearts and, after taking his two top clubs, East felt something dramatic was required. Could his partner to hold something like Q9xx in trumps? Then the winning defence would be to lead a third round of clubs, promoting a second trump trick for West (who would either score immediately with his nine of hearts or discard if South ruffed high).

Convinced he was on the right track, East led another club. Declarer discarded the five of diamonds from hand, West ruffed with the nine of hearts, and dummy's losing spade went away. South was home and dry. After ruffing a spade on the table and drawing trumps, he had the rest of the tricks.

Well, East's play could have been right if the cards had lain as he visualised, but the real mistake was made by West. It could hardly pay to ruff one of declarer's losers with a winning trump. If he simply discards on the third round of clubs, declarer is still one trick short.

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