ETCETERA / Bridge

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The Independent Culture
THERE were several points of interest on this deal - West missed a difficult defence but declarer returned the compliment when he missed a neat way to take advantage of the inaccuracy.

North

S A J 9 3

H 2

D 10 8 5

C J 10 9 4 3

West

S Q 8 7 4

H A 4

D K 9 7 3

C A Q 2

East

S K 10 6 5 2

H 9 8 3

D 6 4 2

C 8 7

South

S None

H K Q J 10 7 6 5

D A Q J

C K 6 5

West opened One No-trump and after two passes South bid a direct Four Hearts to end the auction. West started with the ace and another trump. Declarer won, drew the last trump and started the club suit by leading the king. This was too much for West to resist. He won with the ace but immediately realised that he had done the wrong thing when East followed with the eight, suggesting a doubleton.

West switched to a spade and, delighted with this unexpected access to dummy, declarer won with the ace and discarded the jack of diamonds. Now the defence was easy - West held off the second round of clubs, won the third and had a safe spade exit. There was no way for South to avoid an eventual diamond loser.

Declarer's mistake? He should play low on the spade lead and ruff in hand. Then he leads a club. If West ducks, then South's last club goes away on the ace of spades and he can afford to concede a diamond trick. And if West wins the second club the suit is established.

Note that if West ducks the king of clubs he can always defeat the contract: after winning the third club, he has a safe diamond exit (he still comes to a trick with his king).

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