Bridge: Playing the guessing game

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The Independent Culture
THERE was an interesting battle of wits on this deal. South's contract of Four Spades appeared to depend purely and simply on a good decision in diamonds, but West rather neatly thwarted declarer's attempt to avoid any guesswork.

Love all; dealer South


K J 8 5 3

10 9 5

10 9 3

K 4


6 4

Q J 7 6

Q 8 6 2

J 10 9



K 4 2

A 7 5 4

Q 7 6 5 2


A Q 10 9 2

A 8 3


A 8 3

South opened One Spade, North raised aggressively to Three Spades and South went on to game.

West led the jack of clubs against Four Spades and it was clear to declarer that he had a choice of plays. If he tackled diamonds immediately and guessed wrongly, the defenders could then hardly fail to switch the suit to hearts, after which he would lose four tricks. Instead, he decided to try a little subterfuge.

He won with dummy's king of clubs, drew trumps in two rounds, cashed the ace of clubs, then ruffed a club in dummy. Next he continued with the ten of hearts to the two, three and jack.

You can see the trap he set. If West plays a diamond there is no guess and if West gets off lead with a low heart to his partner's king, he can now be thrown in with his queen to open up the diamond suit, or concede a ruff and discard.

West saw this coming and instead of a low heart, he got off lead with the queen. South won and exited with a heart, but it was East who won and rushed through a low diamond to leave declarer, of course, with a guess.

There would have been no story if he had guessed right . . . .