Independent Pursuits: Bridge

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The Independent Culture
SOUTH FOLLOWED a very natural line of play on this deal - one that, I feel, would be chosen by the majority of players - and went down. See if you can spot the unusual timing that would have succeeded. Was it impossible to find at the table?

After two passes South opened One Heart; West (facing a passed partner) overcalled with Four Spades. North and East passed but South fought on with Five Clubs. North gave preference to hearts and all passed, West deciding to take his chances in defence.

West led #A against Five Hearts and declarer ruffed the diamond continuation. At trick 3 he led his singleton spade and West, after taking his ace, played a third diamond. South ruffed, crossed to !K and finessed 2Q successfully. The ace of clubs now exposed the situation in both clubs and trumps.

Declarer ruffed a club on the table, came to hand with a diamond ruff, and trumped another club with dummy's last heart. Then he attempted to cash 4K but East ruffed and South had to lose a club at the end.

South's play looks reasonable enough but note what happens if he does not play a spade at trick 3. (Yes, that does look odd to do anything else, bearing in mind that West is almost certainly marked with 4A.) After a heart to the king and a club finesse, declarer cross-ruffs clubs and diamonds and then draws trumps. Finally, at trick 12, he leads his spade! West wins but must give dummy the last trick with 4K.

East-West game; dealer North


4K 4 3 2

!K 3 2

#J 9 4 2

28 6

West East

4A Q J 10 9 8 6 45

!5 !9 8 4

#A K 7 5 #Q 10 8 6

23 2K J 10 9 7



!A Q J 10 7 6


2A Q 5 4 2