Pursuits: Bridge

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The Independent Culture
EAST CRIMED his partner for overcalling on a threadbare suit on this deal. (Dear West, Please do not lose any sleep about this; I would not dream of passing with your hand.) but the real blame lay with East later in the defence.

North opened One Diamond, South responded One Heart, and West overcalled with One Spade - the bid that was later criticised. North rebid Two Diamonds for, in spite of his minimum, he had a six-card suit, and East competed with Two Spades. South now tried Three Clubs and, after a heart preference from North, went on to game. West, not placing much reliance on his feeble spades, made the good start of the ace and another trump.

After winning in hand, declarer led #3 to the eight, ten and queen. East realised the danger of dummy's long diamond suit. If, for example, he had played a third trump, South would win, cash #A, and ruff a diamond, with 4A as an entry to his established diamonds. So East returned 43 into dummy's tenace. South's jack held the trick and he entered dummy with a club ruff. Now 4A and a spade ruff established dummy's queen. After drawing the last trump, declarer now had 10 tricks.

It was not unreasonable for East to expect his partner to hold 4J for his overcall, but it would have cost him nothing to return 4K instead of a low spade. Unable to bring in the diamonds, and with only two spade tricks, South would have been a trick short of his contract.

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