Bridge: Hand makes a rare appearance

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The Independent Culture
IN THIS column, there are two excellent reasons for the rare appearances of good hands played by myself. One is - of course - my natural modesty, the other is the acute shortage of suitable material. However, the following deal had some interesting points.

East-West game: dealer South

North

S. A Q J

H. K J 10

D. J 10 8 2

C. A 7 6

West

S. 10 8 3

H. 7 6 5 4 2

D. none

C. K Q J 10 3

East

S. 9 6 5 4

H. 9 8

D. A Q 9 4

C. 9 5 2

South

S. K 7 2

H. A Q 3

D. K 7 6 5 3

C. 8 4

As South, I opened One No-trump (12-14 points), and my partner raised to game. West led the king of clubs against Three No-trumps. 'It should be Hiron-proof,' remarked dummy complacently, as he proudly displayed his 16 points.

But it was not straightforward. I held off twice, and discarded a diamond on the third club. Correctly judging that West still had two winning clubs, and that if he held the ace of diamonds as well I had no chance, I led a low diamond from dummy. East played low and my king won, but West's discard of a heart was bad news.

As persisting with diamonds would have led to three losers in the suit, I had the happy inspiration of cashing three rounds of hearts. When East seemed to be in some difficulties with his discard, I knew I had done the right thing, for I now knew the position.

Consider East's problem. If he parts with a diamond, I can play on the suit and eventually establish my ninth trick.

In practice he discarded a spade, but now I was able to take my three spade tricks, leaving East with nothing but diamonds. Now a diamond to the 10 lost to East's queen, but he had to concede the last trick to dummy's jack.

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