Games: Bridge

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There were some interesting points in the play of the Six Diamonds contract that was reached at both tables on this deal from match play but, first, let me pose a question. Which lead do you think that declarer would find more helpful - a low heart, or a trump? It is curious how matters worked out.

The bidding followed much the same route in both rooms. Unopposed, it went 1+-1_; 3[-3+; 4[-4_; 4]-6+; all pass.

One West led two of hearts and, after winning with dummy's ace and discarding a spade from hand, declarer played off the king of trumps. The queen fell on his right (incidentally, this would have been a good deceptive play if East had started with the queen - 10 doubleton) and South derided to assume that the queen was indeed singleton and, abandoning trumps, he played on clubs.

One of dummy's spades went on the third top club but, when another one followed, West was helpless. He ruffed ahead of dummy with his 10, but another of dummy's spades went away and South was now able to ruff his remaining losing spade.

At the other table, as I suggested, West chose a low trump for his opening move. Distinctly pleased with this start, declarer played low from dummy and won East's queen with his ace. There were now 12 easy tricks if the trumps broke 3-2 and, with no real reason to suspect otherwise, he led a second diamond to the king. When East showed out there was no recovery; again West trumped the fourth round of clubs with his 10, but he could now lead a killing third round of trumps to leave South with an eventual spade loser.

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