Independent Pursuits: Bridge

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The Independent Culture
THE PLAY started well for South in his contract of 1 no-trumps on this deal. In the ending, however, he found himself in the unusual position (for a declarer) of being the victim of a criss-cross squeeze.

Playing a Strong Club system, South opened One Club. North gave the negative response of One Diamond; South's next bid of One Heart was a relay, requiring his partner to bid One Spade. All very baffling but, after the forced spade bid, South's next move of 1 no-trumps showed a balanced 18-19 points. It was not difficult for North to pass this and West led 46 (the second highest of a bad suit) which went to the king and ace.

South started on the clubs and East won the first round to return 4J. Declarer won, and continued clubs, and West won and cleared the spades. Next declarer tried #Q and this was allowed to win. Then he cashed his two established clubs on which both defenders parted with a heart. This left South with !K J 4 #K 9 and he exited with !4 in the vague hope that a seventh trick would come in.

It did not, for West won with !10 and cashed the long spade, on which East threw a diamond. South was now in trouble; if he parted with #9, West would lead a diamond to his partner's ace and then take the last two tricks; if on the other hand he threw a heart, West would cash !A and then East would win the rest.

The five-card ending was rather odd - if declarer had led any card other than !4, a good guess at the end would have given him the extra trick that he needed for his contract.

Game all; dealer South

North

47 3 2

!9 7 3

#10 6 5 2

27 6 3

West East

49 6 5 4 4K J 8

!A 10 8 !Q 6 5 2

#J 8 3 #A 7 4

2A 8 4 2K 5 2

South

4A Q 10

!K J 4

#K Q 9

2Q J 10 9

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