ETCETERA: BRIDGE

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The Independent Culture
PERHAPS over-pleased that both he and his partner remembered the new convention they had recently added to their armoury, South did not choose the best line of play in his slam contract on this deal.

Playing five card majors, South opened One Heart and North responded Two Spades. No, this is not a misprint - bearing in mind the relative infrequency of the need for a jump in a new suit to be used as a game force, this is a new idea. Described as a "mini-splinter", it showed a limit raise to Three Hearts with a spade shortage. Rather wildly, South jumped to Six Hearts and all passed.

West led the jack of diamonds and East took his ace and returned the suit. There were a number of possibilities in the play. Ruffing two spades in dummy looked dangerous and, indeed, would have led to the loss of a trump trick. A 2-2 trump break would obviously help, but the king and queen exposed the position. With a sigh, declarer drew the last trump and staked everything on the ace of clubs and a club finesse. When this failed, he ended two down.

It certainly looks better, after just two trumps, to start the clubs by playing the ace and king and ruffing a club. Remember that South had needed to find the queen and at most two other clubs with West. The alternative works whenever the clubs are 3-3 or the queen is doubleton in either hand.

Love all: dealer South

North

] Q

_ K Q J

+ 8 7 6 3

[ K J 10 9 6

West East

] K 8 7 6 5 2 ] 10 9 4

_ 3 _ 10 5 2

+ J 10 4 + A 9 5 2

[ 8 5 2 [ Q 7 4

South

] A J 3

_ A 9 8 7 6 4

+ K Q

[ A 3

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