Pursuits: Bridge

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The Independent Culture
"THAT WAS a wild shot!" complained East sourly, after South had landed his slam on this deal.

"You couldn't possibly have got a count on my hand - so what possessed you to play me for two singletons?"

But there was a good reason for declarer's play.

East opened Three Clubs (it was either Three Clubs or Five, for Four would have had a special meaning). South rather dangerously joined in with Three Hearts and North launched into Roman Key Card Blackwood.

On learning that his partner held three aces but no queen of hearts, North wisely put on the brakes in Six Hearts.

West led 4K against the slam and, after winning in dummy, the king and ace of hearts revealed a sure trump loser.

Prospects were not good, for how could South avoid losing a spade as well? It would be no help to find the diamonds divided 3-2, for West would be able to ruff the fourth round and cash a spade. The only hope lay in finding West with four diamonds, but only two of the jack, the ten and the nine.

Accordingly, South played off #A and was pleased to see East drop the nine. He followed with a low diamond and, when West played the seven, finessed #8 and closed his eyes.

When he opened them again, a disgruntled East had discarded a club. Now South's remaining spades went away before West could ruff.

North-South game;

dealer East


4A J 9

!K 7 6 3

#K Q 8 5 2


West East

4K Q 10 8 45 4 2

!Q 10 4 !2

#J 10 7 3 #9

24 2 2K 10 9 8 7 6 5 3


47 6 3

!A J 9 8 5

#A 6 4

2A J