Independent Pursuits: Bridge

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The Independent Culture
EUROPE (REPRESENTED by the leading French team) won the third Marlboro China Cup in Peking last October. This deal, reported by Henry Francis, came from the match between North America and China and featured an accurate defence that was unlucky to fail when Fred Mitelman (US) was declarer in a slam.

South opened One Heart, North responded Two Clubs, and South rebid his hearts. North launched into Roman Key Card Blackwood and the response of Five Spades showed two key cards (4A and !K) and the queen of hearts. Hoping for the best, North bid Six Hearts; all passed, and West found the best lead of a trump. Declarer won and cashed dummy's two top clubs, throwing a diamond from hand. Then he led a third round of clubs and it was not good news when East showed out.

South trumped and followed with 4A and a spade ruff in dummy. Then came a diamond to the queen and West's ace and now another trump lead seemed to finish declarer's chances - he still had two losing spades, only one trump left in dummy, and a useless club suit. Declarer, however, was by no means dead. He won the trump in hand, ruffed another spade with dummy's last trump, and came to hand with a club ruff. Then he led his last trump with 49 #7 still in hand and #K8 4J in dummy. West, with #J6 4Q, had to part with a diamond and dummy's now useless 2J went away. This left East with a discard to find from 4K #10 9. He saved his spade but now both of dummy's remaining diamonds were tricks.

A handsome gain? No, although against the same contract at the other table West had found the trump lead, he failed to continue the suit when in with #A. Now there were 12 tricks on a cross-ruff.

Love all; dealer South



!A J 8 4

#K 8 2

2A K J 8 3

West East

4J 7 4 4K Q 6 5 3

!9 7 !10 3

#A J 6 #10 9 4 3

2Q 10 7 4 2 26 5


4A 9 8 2

!K Q 6 5 2

#Q 7 5