ETCETERA / Bridge

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The Independent Culture
WHEN you look at the results of a deal from a pairs competition and find that only one North-South pair has ended with a minus score, it is often interesting to investigate. This was the case in point.

Game all; dealer South

North

S. K Q 6 3

H. 10 7 4

D. Q 7 5

C. 8 6 3

South

S. A 5 2

H. K Q J 9

D. K 9 2

C. Q 10 4

West

S. J 8 4

H. A 6 5

D. A J 3

C. A K J 9

East

S. 10 9 7

H. 8 3 2

D. 10 8 6 4

C. 7 5 2

Normally South opened One No-trump (15-17 points) and West doubled. If there was no redouble and this became the final contract, declarer came to eight or even nine tricks. Although there was little excuse, some East players lost their nerve and bid Two Diamonds. This was no triumph and, even if North-South forgot to double, the contract failed by two or three tricks.

The solitary East-West plus score resulted from South playing in One No-trump and going one down] It looks impossible, but a combination of defensive methods and low cunning by West led to declarer's undoing.

First, against a strong no-trump, West did not have a penalty double in his armoury. (A double, apparently, would have asked his partner to bid Two Clubs.) So West passed the opening bid and led the ace of clubs. A sight of dummy made it clear his partner did not own even a jack. He might, however, have a ten, so at trick 2 West switched to the jack of diamonds. This ran round to South's king and he started on the hearts. West won the round to South's king and continued with the three of diamonds. It seemed clear to South that West held the ten of diamonds, but could not possibly hold the ace (after all, he had not bid), so he played low from dummy.

East unexpectedly won with the D10 and returned a club. Now the defenders took the next four tricks.

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