BRIDGE

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The Independent Culture
China is becoming big in the bridge world. Not long after the staging of the World Championships in Beijing, a number of Chinese players competed in the Israeli Bridge Festival in Tel Aviv, and with considerable success. Here is an elegant defence by Zhang Ya Lan and Gu Ling of Guanga Zhou - you may remember that as Canton - on their way to winning one of the major Womens' titles.

South opened One Heart, North responded One Spade, and South's rebid of Two Diamonds was passed out.

Perhaps Two Hearts would have been more solid, but Zhang Ya Lan led the queen of clubs and the defenders started with three tricks in the suit.

It was Gu Ling who was allowed to win the third club and, after cashing the king of spades, led a fourth club. Perhaps unwisely, declarer ruffed high and West - in text book style - smoothly discarded a heart while dummy did the same.

Now there were difficulties in the trump suit - declarer tried cashing a top heart and ruffing a heart in order to lead towards her remaining trump honours. But this was also allowed to win! Unsuspectingly, South ruffed another heart on the table and played trumps again.

The roof fell in, for West could not draw the remaining trumps and lead the jack of spades to the Chinese ladies on a harmless enough looking deal.

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