ETCETERA / Bridge

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The Independent Culture
FOR GOOD or bad I tend to be very placid at the bridge table. On this deal, playing with a wild and eccentric partner, I lost my nerve when he was doubled in Five Clubs. I could not bear to watch but my return was greeted with the news that he had made an overtrick.

After two passes East (playing five card majors) opened One Diamond and South overcalled with Two Clubs. West raised to Two Diamonds and, following partner's favoured methods, I bid Four Clubs pre-emptively. South went on to Five Clubs and somebody doubled. (Looking at my hand it could have been me]) Then I left the table.

Apparently West had led the king of diamonds. South won, ruffed a diamond, came to hand with the ace of hearts and ruffed another diamond. Then came the queen of hearts, covered and ruffed, and - inexplicably - one round of trumps before ruffing the last diamond. A spade went away on the jack of hearts and declarer was left with the self-made problem of coming to hand to draw the last trump.

The danger was that the defenders would be able to take two spade tricks and lead a fourth round of hearts leading to a trump promotion and defeat. A simple solution would have been to lead a fourth heart himself, discarding a spade and so safeguarding the contract but declarer led a spade from the table. East took his queen and led a low spade] It was his only chance; if his partner held the jack he could win and lead the last heart for the trump promotion. And that was where the overtrick came from.

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