ETCETERA / Bridge

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The Independent Culture
IT WAS not easy to choose the best line of play in Four Hearts on this deal from match-play. One declarer failed, the other got home; but I would not like to calculate their relative percentage chances. There is no arguing, however, with success.

West opened One Diamond, North overcalled with One Spade and, after a pass by East, South tried Two Hearts. North raised to Three Hearts and South went on to game.

West led the king of diamonds against Four Hearts and one declarer won, ruffed a diamond on the table, and ran the jack of hearts. This lost to the king and (although another diamond would have also worked), West returned a trump. Now, when the spades failed to divide evenly, South had to settle for nine tricks.

At the other table, after the same lead, South decided that if West had held both top clubs he might well have led one. Therefore, in view of East's silence, if he held a top club he would be unlikely to hold the king of trumps as well. Accordingly, after winning the diamond lead and ruffing a diamond, declarer came back to hand with the ace of trumps and trumped another diamond with dummy's jack of hearts. He followed with three spades, discarding a loser on the third. West could ruff but only with his master king of trumps, and now, whatever happened, declarer had 10 tricks.

It may have just been flair but it is decisions such as South's that win matches.

North

S. A K Q 8 3

H. J 8 3

D. 2

C. Q 7 6 5

South

S. 52

H. A Q 10 7 4

D. A 8 6 4

C. 10 3

West

S. J 4

H. K 2

D. K Q J 9 7 5

C. A J 9

East

S. 10 9 7 6

H. 9 6 5

D. 10 3

C. K 8 4 2

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