Independent Pursuits: Bridge

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The Independent Culture
The defence started on the right track on this deal from rubber bridge but South played cleverly and, instead of going two off as seemed destined, got home.

South opened 1 No-trumps - ostensibly 16-18 points, but the 60 part-score gave him considerable licence. Perhaps, in view of the score, West was a little cautious in passing but this became the final contract. West led 2A to the four and three and South made his first attempt to confuse matters by dropping the ten. This left West wondering whether his partner had started a tiny peter from 27532, but he passed the test and switched to #2.

East played his king and, although in some circumstances it might have been right to duck, South won immediately and ran !J to the king. East clarified the club position by returning the seven and West took his three club tricks, on the last of which dummy threw a diamond, East a spade, and South a well-chosen !9.

Now West had another problem - there was nothing in the play of the diamond suit so far that precluded the possibility of South having started with #AJx. Finally he decided to get off lead safely with a low heart - if South's discard of H9 was to be believed, the suit was now blocked. However, dummy played low and East showed out, discarding another spade, and two more spades when the next two heart tricks were taken. Now it was easy for declarer to drop the doubleton queen of spades and clinch the rubber.

Game all, North South 60;

dealer South

North

4J 10 3

!A 8 6 5

#9 8 6

29 8 4

West East

4Q 5 49 8 6 4 2

!Q 4 3 2 !K

#Q 10 2 #K J 7 3

2A K J 6 27 5 3

South

4A K 7

!J 10 9 7

#A 5 4

2Q 10 2

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