Pursuits: Bridge

WHEN YOUR partner is known to hold values in the three side suits, it often pays to lead trumps. This deal proved infuriating for West - he did everything possible to give South a rough ride but, in the end, declarer's guns were just too big for the defence.

South opened One Heart, West passed, and North raised to Two Hearts. East doubled for take-out but no one was prepared to take any further action when South jumped to game and this was passed out. West was certainly on the ball when he chose a trump lead - on any other attack declarer would have had time to organise a spade ruff on the table for his 10th trick.

South won in hand and led 42. Again West was with it - he went in with 410 in order to lead another trump. If he had played low on the spade East (with no more trumps left) would have been forced to overtake. South won the trump lead and tried another low spade but again West was there and, after going in with his queen, he was able to lead a third round of trumps.

It looked as though the defenders had done everything that was necessary but South still had the last word when he cashed 2A and ran off his remaining trumps. You can see the end position - dummy came down to #A 10 7 4, declarer to 4J 9 #K 5, and East still had to find a discard from 4A K #Q J 9. Forced to keep three diamonds (for otherwise South would have come to an overtrick), he had to part with a top spade. Now 49 from South established his jack for the 10th trick.

It would have been kinder, perhaps, if West had found some inferior opening lead - at least saving his partner from the indignity of being squeezed...

Game all; dealer South

North

45 4

!K 6 5

#A 10 7 3

210 6 5 4

West East

4Q 10 6 4A K 8 7

!8 7 4 !2

#8 6 2 #Q J 9 4

2J 7 3 2 2K Q 9 8

South

4J 9 3 2

!A Q J 10 9 3

#K 5

2A

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