Independent Pursuits: Bridge

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The Independent Culture
AFTER THE play to the second trick on this deal, declarer concluded (without justification) that there was no trump loser. As a result, he neglected to take a simple precaution that would have paid off.

Playing five-card majors, East opened One Spade and West raised obstructively to Two Spades. North doubled and South's jump to game in hearts was passed out. West led 410 against Four Hearts and East won with his ace. Now, instead of exiting with his singleton diamond, he made the rather odd play of switching to a low trump. This had a remarkable effect for, when declarer put in !Q and it held the trick, he concluded that West still held the missing king. And so he continued with !J...

It came as something of a shock when West showed out, for, after going up with dummy's ace, South was an entry short to hand for the two ruffs he needed in dummy. As soon as East got in with a club, he cashed the king of hearts to leave South with one loser too many.

This was careless play on declarer's part. When the queen of trumps holds, he should play a club at once to create entries back to his hand. From his point of view, he can afford to lose a trump trick (if West has started with, say !Kxx) because now he will be able to ruff his losing spade and, if necessary, the fourth diamond as well.

Love all; dealer East

North

47 6

!A 8 7 3

#A K

2K 10 8 6 3

West East

410 9 2 4A Q J 8 4

!6 !K 4 2

#J 9 8 5 3 2 #6

2Q 4 2 2A J 9 7

South

4K 5 3

!Q J 10 9 5

#Q 10 7 4

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