Independent Pursuits: Bridge

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EAST PLAYED a natural enough defence against Four Spades on this deal, but it did not prove sufficient. A more deceptive approach, with partner's co-operation, might have led declarer to defeat.

North opened One Club, East overcalled with Two Hearts (described as "intermediate") and South tried Two Spades. West raised to Four Hearts, North bid Four Spades, and all passed. It was not at all clear to whom the hand belonged, but it was North-South who held the higher-ranking suit...

West led !2 against Four Spades and, after winning with his queen and noting the menace of dummy's strong club suit, East switched to #2 in an attempt to establish tricks there. West won and continued diamonds but declarer judged well when he went up with dummy's king and started on clubs. One diamond had gone away before East could ruff. South over- ruffed, trumped a heart in dummy, and led another top club. Again East ruffed and was over-ruffed, but he had run out of steam when South's last heart was trumped in dummy and a fifth round of clubs led. Away went South's last diamond, and he could start on trumps.

To have any hope of defeating the contract, East must place his partner with #A and a trump trick. Assuming this, he can defend more cunningly by winning the first heart with the ace, not the queen. He returns a trump and, after taking his ace, West switches to a low diamond. Do you get the idea? Having seen West turn up with 4A and, apparently, !K, declarer may well place East with the missing #A and misguess in the suit, to lose two diamonds as well as a trump and a heart.

Love all; dealer North


410 9 7 3


#K J 3

2A K Q J 9

West East

4A 2 45 4

!10 8 2 !A K Q 9 7 6

#A 6 5 #Q 10 2

28 7 6 3 2 25 4


4K Q J 8 6

!J 5 4

#9 8 7 4