Independent Pursuits: Bridge

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The Independent Culture
"I THINK you got that one wrong, partner!" commented West good- humouredly after an unsuccessful defence against South's club game on this deal from match-play.

After two passes South opened One Club and West overcalled with One Heart. North suggested a maximum pass and a liking for clubs by bidding Two Hearts, and East raised obstructively to Three Hearts. Still angling for 3 No- trumps, South explored with Three Spades but, with nothing in hearts, North went back to Four Clubs. As his partner could hardly have enough high cards to make a slam possible, South contended himself with Five Clubs. All passed and West led !K.

When his king held, West continued with !Q. Now the play was easy for a good technician. Declarer ruffed, drew trumps, ruffed dummy's last heart and cashed three diamonds, ending on the table. Then he led a spade, putting in the nine when East played low (it would not have helped East to try the jack, for South merely covers with his queen). West won with his 10 but was end-played - either he led a spade into South's remaining tenace, or conceded a ruff and discard.

West's complaint was that his partner should have foreseen such a development and overtaken !K with his ace to return a spade at trick two. Can you see why this did not help? (As capably demonstrated by South at the other table.) Declarer covers the low spade with his nine and this loses to the 10. But now, after ruffing the next heart lead, declarer ran all his trumps and followed with three diamonds, ending in dummy who had retained 46 !10. West, now in sole control of the hearts, was forced to bare his king of spades, and, bearing in mind West's entry into the bidding, it was not difficult for declarer to play his ace and drop West's 4K.

Love all; dealer North


44 3 2

!10 6 2

#A K 7

2K J 9 4

West East

4K 10 5 4J 8 7 6

!K Q J 7 3 !A 9 8 5

#6 5 2 #10 9 8 4

26 3 28


4A Q 9


#Q J 3

2A Q 10 7 5 2