Independent Pursuits: Bridge

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The Independent Culture
IT IS all very well making a "pressure" bid - one that forces your opponents to make a decision at an uncomfortably high level - but, having done so, it may be necessary to find an accurate defence if they accept the challenge and bid on. This deal is a good example of what I mean.

East opened One Heart and South overcalled with One Spade (double would have been a fair alternative). West bounced to Four Hearts, leaving North with a guess. As you can see, Four Hearts may well have failed, but North, who, if he had been given a clear run, might have only raised to the Two level, speculated with Four Spades. All passed and West led !A, which East encouraged with his king.

Declarer ruffed the heart continuation and led a trump to the ace, seven and two. As another heart would concede a ruff and discard, West tried 23. South won in hand and led another trump, shrewdly putting in the Ten when West showed out (playing the king would, oddly enough, have led to defeat as East cannot now be prevented from scoring two trump tricks by playing another heart when in with 4Q). East won the Ten with his queen and tried a third round of hearts, but declarer ruffed with dummy's king, finessed successfully in diamonds and drew the outstanding trumps.

Did you spot the winning defence? West should not have worried about the ruff and discard. His partner's 42 on the first trump suggested a four-card holding (he could have petered with three), so another heart when in with 4A would have proved effective. Wherever declarer ruffs and however he plays, East's trump length is enough to defeat the contract.

Love all; dealer East


4K 10 7

!9 3

#Q J 6 4

2Q 8 7 2

West East

4A 4Q 4 3 2

!A 8 7 6 2 !K Q J 10 5

#7 5 2 #K 8

210 9 4 3 2J 5


4J 9 8 6 5


#A 10 9 3

2A K 6