ETCETERA : BRIDGE

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IT is perfectly true that, had there been no other danger, declarer played the diamonds in the best possible way but by slavishly following the percentages he ran into an unforeseen complication.

South opened One No-trump (15-17 points) and rebid Two Diamonds over his partner's Stayman enquiry of Two Clubs. North raised to Three No- trumps and all passed.

West led the ten of hearts and, assuming one trick in spades, declarer had eight winners. Clearly he had to develop something in diamonds and, after winning the lead on the table, he led a low diamond and finessed the nine. This lost to the jack and it was not difficult for West to switch to a low spade. Dummy's king lost to the ace, the defenders cleared the spades and, when South tried another diamond finesse, took the setting trick in spades.

Declarer really should have seen the dangers of a spade switch from West. Suppose that he had won the heart lead in hand and tried a low diamond to the seven? As the cards lie, he is in comfort but suppose the worst happens and East is able to win with the jack? He switches to spades but now, after winning with dummy's king, declarer can safely finesse the nine of diamonds into West's hand for he still has a guard in spades. This would have led to a comfortable eleven tricks instead of a miserable eight.

Love all; dealer South

North

] K 5

_ A K J 2

+ Q 10 8 7 3

[ 8 2

West East

] 10 8 7 4 ] A J 9 2

_ 10 9 8 7 _ 5 4

+ K J 2 + 6 4

[ J 9 [ Q 10 6 5 3

South

] Q 6 3

_ Q 6 3

+ A 9 5

[ A K 7 4

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