Bridge: A good deal of injustice

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The Independent Culture
DO YOU ever get the feeling that there is no justice in this game? To bid and make a grand slam in a pairs contest usually guarantees an excellent score, but here South had every right to be aggrieved.

Game all; dealer South


S. J 4 3

H. J 10

D. A K J 10

C. K J 8 3


S. 8 6

H. 8 4

D. 9 7 6 3 2

C. 9 6 5 4


S. 7 5

H. K 9 7 5 3

D. Q 8 5

C. Q 10 7


S. A K Q 10 9 2

H. A Q 6 2

D. 4

C. A 2

South opened Two Spades and North set the trump suit with a forcing to game raise to Three Spades. Now came a flurry of cue bids (Four Clubs - Four Diamonds; Four Hearts - Five Clubs; Five Diamonds - Six Diamonds) and, although it was apparent that North did not hold second round control in hearts, he had never held back and South jumped to Seven Spades.

West led a trump and it was clear to declarer that, at worst, his contract depended on the heart finesse. There were, however, extra chances. With commendable technique South won in hand, played off the ace and king of clubs, and ruffed a club high. The fall of the queen established dummy's jack.

A second top spade drew the outstanding trumps and declarer followed with dummy's top diamonds (discarding a heart) and a diamond ruff. When the queen fell it was all over and, entering dummy with the jack of spades, South discarded his losing hearts on dummy's minor suit jacks.

Then came disappointment. The heart finesse had been right all the time and an irritatingly large number of pairs had essayed the inferior but higher-scoring contract of Seven No-trumps - in which they had little option but to rely on the heart finesse.