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Last time, I gave a hand by Martin Hoffman who is one of our fastest players. Today's deal features Andrew Robson, who is not. (It was a Vu- Graph commentator who, when asked whether bridge clocks should be introduced, as in chess, observed that in some cases calendars would be more appropriate.) Mind you, Andrew wasted no time on this deal.

North opened 1!, East passed and Robson (as South) jumped to game in spades which kept his vulnerable opponents quiet. West led #K against 44 and at first sight it seemed that two losers in clubs and one in hearts were inevitable and that everything would depend on finding East with either 4K,x or the singleton king.

As winning the lead and ducking a heart (in the forlorn hope of a 3-3 break) would surely attract a club switch, Andrew came up with another plan. he played low from dummy on the opening lead! East followed with the ten and it looked natural for West to continue the suit - someone held a singleton and, if it was declarer, why had he ducked?

West was in for a nasty surprise when #J held the trick and South discarded a club. A trump finesse was followed by the ace and later another club went away on the #A. Even if the ducking play had not succeeded it would have cost nothing. At worst, it would merely have exchanged one loser for another.

E-W game; dealer North



!A 9 7 6 3

#A J 8 2

2A 7 4

West East

48 2 4K 6 4

!Q 10 !K J 5 4

#K Q 7 6 5 4 #10 9

2K 9 2 2Q J 6 3


4A Q J 10 9 7 3

!8 2


210 8 5