Etcetera / BRIDGE

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The Independent Culture
WHAT would you open with the South hand below, playing five- card majors and a 15-17 no- trump? I have a lot of sympathy with One No-trump but, when this was passed out, it led to a poor score in North in a recent pairs competition. When One Spade was opened and North's raise to Two Spades passed out, there was some interesting play at one table.

Against Two Spades, West led the king of clubs and at most tables South won, ruffed a club, returned to hand with a top diamond, and ruffed another club.

Then he played the queen of spades and had an easy run for nine tricks, losing three trump tricks and a heart.

One South engineered a coup in an odd fashion. He allowed the king of clubs to win the first trick] Still on lead, West decided (wrongly) that the best defence lay in cutting down ruffs in dummy and he switched to a low trump.

East took his ace and, following his partner's line of defence, returned a spade. On winning with his king, West could see that his eight of trumps had become an important card. As it was clear (to him, at any rate) that his partner held the ace of clubs, he now switched back to clubs. After dummy had ruffed, he reasoned, his eight of trumps would be a winner.

West was in for a disappointment, however, for South won with his carefully preserved ace, drew the last trump with dummy's ten, and was able to claim 10 tricks for a top score.