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The Independent Culture
WHEN you reach an apparently impossible contract, imagination is called for. This week's deal, from a recent teams event, illustrates the point well.

Love all; dealer South


S 6 5 4

H 7 5

D A 9

C K 10 9 6 5 2


Q 10

K Q 9 6 4 2

K 3

J 4 3


K 9 8 2

J 10 8 3

J 4

Q 8 7


A J 7 3


Q 10 8 7 6 5 2


South opened One Diamond, West overcalled with One Heart and North, without the values to respond at the two level, passed. East raised to Two Hearts, South fought on with Three Diamonds (Two Spades might have found his partner at home), West competed with Three Hearts and North raised to Four Diamonds.

One South passed and had an easy run, using the ace of trumps as an entry to the king of clubs, on which he discarded a spade, and losing only one trump trick as well as two spades. The other South pushed on to Five Diamonds and, short of finding either defender with the king-queen bare in spades, seemed to be faced with at least three losers. He saw a way, however, of putting pressure on his opponents. After winning the heart lead he cut himself off from the king of clubs and tackled trumps immediately. West took his king of trumps and led another heart.

After ruffing, declarer played off four more rounds of trumps. West was reluctant to part with a club in case South had started with ace and another in the suit and East with queen and another, and came down to two spades and three clubs. Equally, East decided that it was vital for him to keep his guard in clubs and, as a result, discarded two spades. Now the ace and another spade left declarer with three winners, the king of clubs never featuring.

It was difficult to apportion the blame - perhaps an early discard of the nine of spades by East (if it suggested four cards in the suit) might have clarified the position and allowed West to throw a club.