ETCETERA / Bridge

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The Independent Culture
THERE were a number of ways in which to tackle the problem of making Three No-trumps on this deal, and South was perhaps fortunate with the approach that he took. Taking no chances, he was able to capitalise on his good start.

Game all; dealer South

North

S K 8 7

H J 9 3

D A Q

C J 9 7 4 3

West

S Q 9 5 4 3

H A 7 4

D 8 3 2

C K 10 5

East

S J 2

H 10 8 6 5

D K j 5 4

C 8 6

SouthA 10 6

S K Q 2

H 10 9 7 6

D A Q 2

C

South opened One No-trump (15-17 points) and North raised to game. West led the four of spades against Three No-trumps and South had his first problem. A case could be made for winning with dummy's king and taking a club finesse, but this gave up the chance of West's spade suit being headed by the queen and jack.

In practice, declarer played low from dummy and won East's jack with the ace. It was not convenient to use up one of dummy's entries before playing clubs, and he started with the ace and queen from hand. West held off but won the third round. Unable to continue spades profitably, he switched to the three of diamonds.

It would have been all too easy to try the queen from dummy, but you can see what would happen. East would win with his king and return a spade for West to clear the suit. As the ace of hearts is with the long spades, the contract would now fail by two tricks.

Instead, declarer won with the ace of diamonds and played on hearts. The defenders could take their ace and two diamonds but after that declarer had the rest of the tricks.

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