ETCETERA / Bridge

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The Independent Culture
IRELAND won its first European teams medal for many years when it took the silver in the Open event of the recent European Community Championships in Portugal. This was a good result.

East-West; dealer North

North

A Q 9

A K 8 7 3

A Q 4 2

6

West

K 6 4

4 2

K J 9 7

7 4 3 2

East

5 3

Q J 10

6

A K J 10 9 8 5

South

J 10 8 7 2

9 6 5

10 8 5 3

Q

North opened One Heart. East (playing weak jump overcalls) bid Two Clubs and West raised to Three Clubs. North doubled, East went on to Four Clubs and (with remarkably little excuse) the Irish South bid Four Spades to end the auction.

Seeing little future in establishing tricks in his partner's club suit, West led a deceptive nine of diamonds and seemed to have achieved immediate success when declarer played dummy's ace and led a club from the table. East took what he perceived to be the best chance of getting his partner in to collect a diamond ruff when he played low.

After winning an unexpected trick and an equally unexpected entry to hand with the queen of clubs, declarer drew trumps and ended with eleven tricks.

The play, after a more orthodox club lead, might have been interesting. Say East switched to a heart at trick two: now the ace, king and another heart puts East on lead again. Any black suit lead allows declarer to draw trumps without loss, so he must try a diamond. After winning in dummy, declarer can afford to play the ace and queen of spades. West wins, but cannot profitably lead a diamond and there is time for declarer to draw the last trump and enjoy the two winning hearts.

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