Bridge: Virtual certainty

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The Independent Culture
Love all; dealer West

North

Q 9 3

A 8 7 2

K 6 2

K 6 4

West

A 6 4

Q J 10

A 10 8 7

Q 7 2

East

2

K 9 5 4 3

Q J 5

9 8 5 3

South

K J 10 8 7 5

6

9 4 3

A J 10 THIS season always brings a batch of new books and one that caught my eye was Secrets of Success by Tony Forrester, Britain's leading player.

It is not a book for the expert, nor is it devoted to any single aspect of the game, but it does suggest good, practical ways for the club player to add a few percentage points to his or her usual score.

Take this deal, for instance. West opened One No-trump (12-14) and East retreated to Two Hearts. South joined in with Two Spades and North raised to game.

West led the queen of hearts against Four Spades. As declarer, you win and play on trumps. West takes the second round and plays a third, while East discards a heart and a club. You play a diamond to the king, which holds, and pause to reflect on who holds the queen of clubs.

West, who has opened One No-trump, is the likely candidate, but he has shown up with two aces and (presumably) the queen and jack of hearts. There is also still room for East to hold the missing queen. The answer to your question, however, lies in the diamond suit.

After your king of diamonds wins, you play another. Presumably the defender who wins plays a second heart and you ruff. Now after exiting with a third round of diamonds, the position becomes clear. East has turned up with the queen and jack of diamonds, as well as the king of hearts, and the club finesse against West has become a virtual certainty.

Secrets of Success by Tony Forrester is available in paperback ( pounds 6.99) and hardback ( pounds 10.95) from Apsbridge Services Ltd, 455 Alfreton Road, Nottingham NG7 5LX. There is no charge for postage.

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