Bridge

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The Independent Online
What would you open with the South hand on this deal? Two Clubs, forcing to game, without doubt but - in the way that things happen nowadays - before you have a chance to speak, the orchestra has struck up.

West opened One Spade and East found it necessary, at the favourable vulnerability, to respond with a forcing no-trump. You are prepared to take your chances in defence against this contract and double, but West bids Two Clubs and your partner (dubiously) dredges up a bid of Two Diamonds.

It is difficult now, but a cue-bid of Two Spades hears your partner suggest no-trumps and you plunge to Six Hearts against which West leads the queen of diamonds. Clearly either West, East, or both are engaged in peddling misinformation, but the club finesse does not look like a good bet.

It must be right to draw trumps, cash the second top diamond, and lead a spade. West must duck this, and the entry to dummy is used to ruff a diamond. As the cards lie, the suit is established and the next spade lead end-plays West who has either to give dummy the lead or open the clubs.

And if - unlikely but possible - West turns out to have four diamonds and a safe exit? Then run the rest of your trumps to come down to a three card ending. If West keeps his fourth diamond you will be able to drop his king of clubs; if he parts with it then, as before, another spade end-plays him.

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