Pursuits: Bridge

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The Independent Culture
SOUTH GOT away with murder on this deal, both in the bidding and the play. As he pointed out to me afterwards, he would have had no chance if the two and three of spades had been exchanged!

South opened One Heart, North raised to Three Hearts, and East joined in with Three Spades. South went on to game and, after two passes, East brooded for some while before passing (as you can see, an adventurous advance to Five Diamonds would have struck gold dust).

West led 43 against Four Hearts, and, with commendable lack of apparent thought, declarer dropped his king under East's ace. It was clear to him that the lead was a singleton and, if his king had been ruffed on the second round, he would have four certain losers.

From East's point of view the lead was perfectly consistent with an original holding of 432 so, seeing no future in spades, he switched to 2Q. Now South was in business. He won, drew trumps in two rounds and led his remaining spade to the eight and ten. He won the next club lead, crossed to dummy with a trump, and was able to take a ruffing finesse with the table's 4J9 against East's queen. The losing club went away, and, later, a diamond ruff in dummy produced the 10th trick.

An if West had held 42 instead of 43? Then East would have been fooled by declarer's false-card.

Game all; dealer South


4J 9 8 4

!A J 9 5 2


28 6 3

West East

43 4A Q 10 7 6 5

! 8 4 !none

#A 9 8 6 2 #K 10 7 4 3

210 9 7 5 2 2Q J


4K 2

!K Q 10 7 6 3

#Q 5

2A K 4