ETCETERA / Bridge

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The Independent Culture
IT WAS East who was greedy on this deal - in trying for a two-trick defeat of declarer's contract, he let it make - but it was West who apologised for giving his partner a chance to go wrong.

East opened One Diamond and South overcalled with Four Hearts to end the auction. West led the queen of diamonds to the king and ace, and East returned the two of diamonds, directing his partner's attention to a club return should he be able to ruff.

Declarer played low from hand and West obliged with a low trump. Taking note of his partner's suit preference signal, he led the queen of clubs, on which dummy played low.

At this point East could have defeated the contract for sure by overtaking with his ace and giving his partner a second diamond ruff. Instead, he greedily played low in the hope that the defenders could take two club tricks first - after all, he reasoned, he had the spades well held. West, who could still have saved the day by switching to a spade, continued clubs, and suddenly South was in business.

After ruffing the second club, declarer played off six rounds of trumps, coming down to SA D98 in dummy and SQ8 DJ in hand. It was a classic criss-cross squeeze position, for East had no good discard from SK10 D107.

West blamed himself not only for his failure to switch to spades but also for not leading a low club originally and forcing his partner to do the right thing.

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