Bridge

Yes, you have seen this deal from the 1996 Lederer Memorial Trophy before. This time, however, it won the prize for the best-defended hand.

South opened One Spade - hardly classic but very much in the aggressive (and successful!) style used by the Hackett twins, Jason and Justin. West passed, North bid Four Clubs, (a "pudding" raise to Four Spades) and South signed off in Four Spades.

West (Willie Coyle) led 2Q and Justin won in dummy to take an immediate and successful heart finesse - a move that he was later to regret. Next came a low spade (a better shot than the play of the queen found by Zia Mahmood at another table) and the king appeared. Now, if the hearts brought in only three tricks, a diamond ruff on the table was needed for the tenth trick, so declarer led a diamond from dummy. Victor Silverstone, as East, went in with his king and played a second club.

Justin won this and did well to cross to 4J before leading a second diamond. Now East was in the hot seat: if he had gone in with his ace, declarer would have had an easy run for ten (or even eleven) tricks, but Silverstone calculated that to defeat the contract he needed to find his partner with Q and so he played low.

You can see the sequel. West duly obliged with #Q, cashed his 2J on which his partner discarded !Q, and now a heart ruff scuppered the contract.

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