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Independent Pursuits: Bridge

AS AN ex-editor of Bridge Magazine (the world's oldest bridge journal) it is hardly for me to say whether it has improved overall since my term of office, but I find the current series, Test Your Defence, by Julian Pottage both informative and imaginative. Take this deal...

East opened One Club and, after two passes (now here I take mild exception to the bidding - I am sure that nine Wests out of 10 would have dredged up a diamond response), North doubled. East passed, South jumped to Two Hearts, and North raised to game.

Now just imagine you are East and can see only your hand and dummy after your partner has led 29 against Four Hearts. You win and cash a second club to reveal the position in the suit, but how do you proceed? Your first thought is to lead a low club for partner to ruff and return a diamond. But will this help? Declarer has four clubs and at least four hearts - therefore only five cards at most in diamonds and spades. He must surely hold 4A for his jump bid and so, after drawing trumps, any diamond loser that he might have will go away on the spades.

So there is no diamond trick to come but there is room for your partner to hold 4Kx. How can you persuade declarer that you hold the king rather than West? Solution - cash your third club winner and switch to #10! South asks himself "Who would defend like that if he held #K?" and reasons that if West holds #K, East must hold the other red king to justify his opening bid. So the only chance will be to find it singleton... And West now comes to the setting trick with a trump. Be honest, would you have thought of this defence.

Game all; dealer East


4K Q J 7

!A J 9 3

#A Q

2J 8 3

West East

410 6 4 2 49 5 3

!K 4 !6

#J 8 6 5 3 2 #K 10 7 4

29 2A K Q 6 5


4A 8

!Q 10 8 7 5 2


210 7 4 2