Pursuits: Bridge

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The Independent Culture
SOUTH WAS so pleased with the apparently successful auction that he allowed his concentration to slip a little when it came to the play. The cards were unforgiving and his error proved costly.

East opened One Heart, and South overcalled with Three Hearts. No, not a misprint - the bid suggested that, if North held a guard in hearts, 3NT should be playable. North could not oblige, and, not knowing which long suit his partner held, he retreated to Four Clubs. South converted to diamonds, and North optimistically bid one for the road.

West led !Q against Five Diamonds, and declarer ruffed the heart continuation. It all looked too easy, and South drew one round of trumps, discovering the 3-0 break, before turning his attention to the real business in hand - ruffing his losing spades on the table.

At trick four South unblocked 4K, came back to hand with a trump and ruffed a low spade. Re-entering his hand with 2A, he trumped his remaining spade loser. But now he was stuck on the table, and, when he led a club, East smartly went in with his queen to win the trick. Now a third round of hearts promoted the setting trick for West's #J.

If, instead of a trump at trick three, declarer had started with a spade to the king, he would have had one more quick entry back to hand and no problems.

Game all; dealer East

North

4K

!8 7 6 4 2

#10 8 7 4

2J 3 2

West East

410 8 5 4 4Q J 9 3

!Q 9 !A K J 10 3

#J 3 2 #none

2K 9 7 4 2Q 8 6 5

South

4A 7 6 2

!5

#A K Q 9 6 5

2A 10

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