Independent Pursuits: Bridge

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The Independent Culture
SOUTH'S WELL-INTENTIONED bidding strategy on this deal seemed to have worked out badly when North took charge and landed the partnership in a distinctly poor slam. Graced with a favourable lead, however, declarer found all of the missing high cards in East's hand and this led him to an unusual end position.

North opened with a conventional Two Clubs and South decided to respond Two Hearts. By giving a positive in this suit, rather than jump to Three Diamonds or lose time and space by choosing a negative Two Diamonds, he hoped to show both of his suits at a convenient level. The drawbacks of showing such a bad suit first became apparent when North launched into a Blackwood 4 no-trumps and, hearing of no aces opposite, still continued to Six Hearts. Although quietly hopeful, East passed and West led #10 against the slam.

Declarer's main hope clearly lay in finding the queen of hearts doubleton. Then, if that did not work, there was still the chance of establishing a long spade for a club discard. He won the lead in hand, preserving #A for a later entry, and tried the two top trumps without success. Then he cashed the ace and king of spades and ruffed a spade to find the suit 4-2. Next came a diamond to the ace and another spade ruff. Now the only way of reaching the table was by ruffing a diamond. After this, the last spade was led for the club discard.

Still not out of the wood, declarer followed with 2K from the table. East covered with his ace and South ruffed. Now it was easy - although East held the only trump still out, a winning diamond allowed 210 to be discarded. East could ruff but now had to concede trick 13 to dummy's 2Q.

Game all; dealer North

North

4A K 10 5 3

!A K 6

#A 2

2K Q 10

West East

4J 7 4Q 9 8 4

!7 4 !Q 10 9

#10 9 6 #5 4 3

2J 9 7 6 5 3 2A 8 4

South

46 2

!J 8 5 3 2

#K Q J 8 7

22

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