BRIDGE

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The Independent Culture
PRE-emption can be a double-edged weapon. Designed to handicap the opponents, it sometimes has quite the reverse effect. Take this deal from match-play.

At both tables South opened One Heart. One West contented himself with a simple overcall of Two Clubs. North began with a negative double but put on steam later and the final contract was Six Hearts. West led the king of clubs and, to declarer's horror, dummy's ace was ruffed. The contract went two down.

At the other table West overcalled with a full-blooded Five Clubs. This would have cost 1100 points but North's double was described rather vaguely as "card-showing" and again the heart slam was reached.

This time, after the lead of the king of clubs, declarer had a shrewd idea of the bad breaks ahead and he found the excellent play of allowing West to hold the trick. West switched to the queen of spades but now South was in business. He won on the table and played off six rounds of trumps to leave dummy with S6 DA6 CAJ.

The king and ace of diamonds now forced West to part with a spade in order to keep two clubs and now it was East's turn to feel the pressure when the ace of clubs was cashed. He decided to keep his winning diamond but now South took the last two tricks with SK and S7. It was a perfect example of a non simultaneous double squeeze.

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