BRIDGE

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The Independent Culture
WHAT does BBC stand for? Nothing to do with broadcasting, but the three ways of bidding a slam - Bash, Blackwood and Cue-bidding. South adopted approach C on this deal and regretted it, although it should not have been too difficult for him to recover.

South opened One Heart and North responded Four Diamonds, explained as a high card raise to game in hearts with no great distribution. A jump to Six Hearts would have left West in the dark with his opening lead, but South explored scientifically with Four Spades. North showed his ace of diamonds and South leapt belatedly to Six Hearts.

West led the unbid suit, clubs, and the queen was covered by the king and ace. The ace and king of trumps revealed the bad news and declarer was faced with the problem of parking his two losing clubs. It looked natural to start on diamonds, with only five cards in the suit, but West ruffed the third round and defeated the slam with another club lead.

What did South overlook? For any line to succeed he needs to find West with at least three spades. It costs nothing to try this suit first - if it breaks 3-3 the diamonds must be tried next but, as the cards lie, West proves to have four spades. One discard can safely be taken on the fourth spade and now it does not matter when West trumps the third diamond.

Game all: dealer South

North

] K J 10 4

_ J 9 5 3

+ A K 6

[ Q 3

West East

] 9 8 7 2 ] 6 5

_ Q 10 4 _ 2

+ 9 8 + J 10 7 5 4 3

[ 9 7 6 5 [ K J 10 8

South

] A Q 3

_ A K 8 7 6

+ Q 2

[ A 4 2

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