ETCETERA / Bridge

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The Independent Culture
IT MUST have been something of a disappointment for South to deal himself the giant hand below, find a useful contribution in his partner's hand, and still end with a minus score. His play, unfortunately, did not match his accurate bidding.

Game all; dealer South

North

S 10 9 7 4

H A Q

D 9 8 6 3

C J 5 4

West

S 8 2

H 10 8 5 4 2

D Q 10 7 4

C 10 9

East

S 6 5

H K J 9 7 3

D 5

C 8 7 6 3 2

South

S A K Q J 3

H 6

D A K J 2

C A K Q

South opened Two Clubs, North responded Two Diamonds and South bid Two Spades. After a raise to Three Spades set the trump suit, an exchange of cue-bids followed and finally South made a grand slam try in diamonds. With no vestige of third round control, North signed off in Six Spades and South reluctantly passed.

West led the ten of clubs and, after drawing trumps, the problem lay in avoiding two diamond losers. The ace and king revealed West still held two natural winners in the suit and declarer was reduced to taking a good decision in the heart suit. His finesse of the queen lost and there was still a diamond to lose. As South explained afterwards, he could have succeeded by cashing two more clubs and following with the ace and queen of hearts, discarding a diamond when East covered, and forcing East to concede a ruff and discard.

It looked as though the contract had depended on guessing which defender held the king of hearts, but there was a straightforward route to success which obviated any guesswork. After drawing trumps, South should cash his remaining two club winners, play the ace of hearts and ruff the queen, then simply exit with the ace and another diamond. Either the suit breaks 3-2 or whoever wins the second trick is end-played.

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