Bridge: Good technique earns its reward

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The Independent Culture
THIS DEAL struck me as an example of good technique being rewarded, writes Alan Hiron. South made his contract of Four Hearts without guesswork when it would have been all too easy to fail.

Love all; dealer South


8 6

J 10 7

K J 9 3

J 7 4 2


7 4 2

8 5

10 8 6 5

A 10 9 8


A K 10 9 5 3

6 4 2

Q 2

6 5



A K Q 9 3

A 7 4

K Q 3

South opened Two No-trumps and North explored with Three Clubs. Three Hearts by South showed a FIVE card suit (they had further machinery in reserve to detect a possible 4-4 fit) and North went on to game in Hearts.

West struck the best lead against Four Hearts - a spade - and after taking two tricks in the suit East switched to a trump, leaving declarer to find his tenth trick on his own. There were two possibilities: the clubs might divide evenly, or the diamond finesse might be right. Clearly the clubs had to be tested first so, after drawing trumps, declarer led a club from dummy to the king and ace.

A club came back but two more rounds of the suit brought no joy. It would have been easy enough now to rely (unsuccessfully) on the diamond finesse, but declarer prudently came to hand with the ace of diamonds and played off his last two trumps. Discarding in front of dummy, West had to keep his club winner and parted with diamonds. Now, on the last trump, dummy's seven of clubs (no longer useful) went away.

Finally South led a diamond from hand and, when West followed with the ten, the position was clear. West was known to hold a club for his last card, so the king of diamonds from dummy was sure to drop the missing queen.