Etcetera: Bridge

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This proved to be a confusing deal - even when you can see all four hands, the winning defence to Four Spades is not clear. And it proved even more difficult to spot at the table.

West opened One Diamond, East decided to respond One Heart, and South overcalled with One Spade. West passed, North raised to Two Spades and, after East had belatedly supported diamonds, South went on to game. All passed, although Five Diamonds would have been a cheap save, and West started with his three top clubs.

So far, so good, but what now? In practice, West decided to switch to the queen of diamonds, and it was not difficult for South to ruff both of his losing diamonds on the table (using spades to re-enter his hand), draw trumps, and claim.

But now try and see what the effect would have been of West switching to a trump at trick four.

After winning, declarer plays off the ace of diamonds and ruffs a diamond. He can come back to hand with another trump and ruff his last diamond - but now there is no way in which he can draw the last trump without West scoring a heart ruff.

It seems odd that the only way for West to get a ruff is to lead a trump!

GAME ALL: dealer West


] Q 9 8 6

_ K 8 6 4 2

+ 5

[ J 10 4

West East

] 5 4 3 2 ] None

_ None _ J 10 9 7 5 3

+ Q J 10 8 3 + K 7 6 2

[ A K Q 5 [ 8 6 3


] A K J 10 7

_ A Q

+ A 9 4

[ 9 7 2