ETCETERA / Bridge

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The Independent Culture
DUPLICATE bridge is supposed to remove the luck element of holding good or bad cards - the pairs against whom you are competing hold the same cards as you. Try explaining that to our opponents on this deal, where partner and I had a monumental bidding misunderstanding.

As South I opened Two No-trumps and partner explored with Three Clubs. It looks like a rather pointless Stayman but it inquired for both four- and five-card major suits. My rebid of Three Spades promised five. As it was still possble that I had a good fit in diamonds, partner proceeded with Four Diamonds. This I took (wrongly) to be a cue-bid agreeing spades and I bid Four Hearts. This partner took (wrongly) as a cue-bid agreeing diamonds.

It all got out of hand after that but at least partner had the wit to convert my final salvo of Seven Spades to Seven No-trumps.

At least the lead of the two of clubs gave me nine sure tricks instead of eight but the sequel was cruel for East-West. The lead went to the queen, king and ace and it was easy (and necessary) to play the diamond suit with a finesse for five tricks. Now there were 12 tricks in sight and I was nearly there.

On the long diamonds I discarded a spade, a heart and a club and followed with three top spades and the jack of clubs. This forced West to come down to only two hearts to retain his ten of clubs while East had to find a discard from the jack of spades and three hearts. It was a perfect double squeeze for in the end I made three heart tricks. It was a top score.

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