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The Independent Culture
LATER this week there will be the opportunity to watch some first- class bridge in London. The Macallan Invitation Pairs has a star-studded cast - Meckstroth and Rodwell (the holders), Nickell and Freeman, Hamman and Wolff (both current Bermuda Bowl holders) and Zia Mahmood with Omar Sharif. With others, they are joined by Britain's leading women's pair, Nicola Smith and Pat Davies, and the current world junior champions, Justin and Jason Hackett. This was a deal from the 1968 event.

It would be an understatement to say that results were mixed. Two North- South pairs had a bidding misunderstanding and ended in a spade part score, two went over the top and ended in Five Spades, but the others stopped in a normal Four Spades after East had overcalled in diamonds.

After the lead of the jack of diamonds declarer had problems. In the hope of losing only one trump trick, the simple play of winning in dummy and leading a trump was tried twice. East took his ace and switched to clubs and now there was no way of avoiding four losers.

Two declarers tried the effect of letting the lead hold. One West fell into the trap and continued the suit - the blocking ace of hearts went away to be followed by South's losing club. The other contract failed by two tricks.

(The Macallan Invitation Pairs, The White House (nr. Gt. Portland St. tube) Wednesday 24 January 5.30pm, Thursday 12.00 noon and 5.30pm, Friday 12.30pm. Admission from pounds 10 per session, season pounds 30, enquiries 0181-878- 5844.)

Game all; dealer North


] 4

_ K Q J 7 3

+ A Q 5

[ 8 7 6 3

West East

] Q 5 3 ] A

_ 8 6 5 4 _ 10 9 2

+ J 10 7 + K 9 8 6 4 3

[ J 9 2 [ K Q 5


] K J 10 9 8 7 6 2

_ A

+ 2

[ A 10 4