Pursuits: Bridge

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The Independent Culture
"ALL RIGHT!" generously conceded North after a setback on this deal. "I am prepared to take 50 per cent of the blame for our bidding. But you were totally responsible for the play!"

South opened One Spade and North forced with Three Diamonds. South bid Three Hearts and North gave preference to spades (rebidding his diamonds would have worked better).

Now South cue-bid Four Clubs and, although North bid his diamonds again now, the final contract was a delicate Six Spades instead of lay-down Six Diamonds.

West led 2K against the spade slam and, after winning, declarer led a low spade to the ace, three and four. West did well now to lead another top club, forcing dummy to ruff. At this point declarer cashed dummy's 4K and discovered the bad trump break which was indeed quite likely after West's play of the ace on the first round.

Hopefully declarer started to run winning diamonds, but East simply discarded clubs and hearts. Eventually South had to ruff one of dummy's winners and concede a trump trick to East.

South had missed his way in the play. When the dummy was forced with a second club, he should have ruffed a low diamond in hand to reduce his trump length.

Then he crosses to 4K, confirming his suspicions of a bad break, and continues diamonds. Sooner or later East must ruff and then his remaining trump can be picked up.

Game all; dealer South


4K 6 3

!9 8

#A K Q J 8 5 2


West East

4A 4J 9 8 4

!7 5 3 2 !10 6

#9 6 4 3 #10 7

2K Q J 4 29 6 5 3 2


4Q 10 7 5 2

!A K Q J 4


2A 10 8