ETCETERA / Bridge

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The Independent Culture
A NEW book that I found full of good material is Hand Reading in Bridge by Danny Roth (Gollancz pounds 10.99). In no way for the beginner, it struck me as the right mixture of the sort of defensive and declarer problems that occur at the table. If you got them all right, I would hate to have you as an opponent] Try this one.

Against South's contract of Four Spades, West led the two of hearts (a trump lead would have proved more purposeful). If the spades divided 3-2, a club ruff on the table would give an easy 10th trick, but were there any prospects if there proved to be an inescapable trump loser?

To play low on the opening lead was a possibility, but if East turned up with the king of hearts he would be sure to return a trump, after which the contract would fail even against kindly breaks. Instead there was a neat opportunity for taking 10 tricks before the opponents could take four.

From the lead it looked likely that the missing hearts were 4-4. Declarer wins the lead with dummy's ace and ruffs a heart at trick 2. Then he gives up a club. Presumably the defenders play a trump, but South wins and takes a club ruff in dummy before ruffing another heart in hand. The ace of diamonds is now used as a third entry to dummy to trump the fourth heart.

In all, declarer makes three aces, three top trumps, a club ruff in dummy and three heart ruffs in hand; a line of play independent of the trump break.

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