Bridge

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Indy Lifestyle Online
THIS DEAL, from last month's World Senior Teams event in Albuquerque, was a curiosity. Although not playing any of the 'Strong Pass' systems, North and South both passed on the first round, but still reached Seven No-trumps.

Game all; dealer West

North

S9 8 3

H. 7 4

D. A 5

C. A 10 7 6 5 4

West

S. K Q J 7 6 4

H. 10 8 5

D. J 10 8 3

C. none

East

S. 10 5 2

H. J 9 6 2

D. 9 7 2

C. Q 9 2

South

S. A

H. A K Q 3

D. K Q 6 4

C. K J 8 3

West opened Two Diamonds - the multicoloured Two Diamonds, showing either a weak two in a major suit or a strong balanced hand. North passed and East dutifully responded Two Hearts.

Quietly convinced that West would convert to Two Spades South passed and, when the expected Two Spades from West came round to him, doubled. Now a number of conventional gimmicks came into play. North responded Three Clubs. This looks natural but in fact promised constructive values.

South bid Four No-trumps (Roman Key Card Blackwood), agreeing clubs, and the response of Five Hearts showing exactly two of the five aces - including the king of trumps - but lacking the queen of trumps. Now South made the grand-slam try of Five Spades. The message was: 'I know that we are missing the queen of clubs but have you any extra length in the suit to compensate?' North had, and bid Seven Clubs. Able now to count 13 tricks, South converted to Seven No-trumps.

The play proved easy: as West presumably held six spades to his partner's three, the odds favoured tackling the club suit by playing the ace first to expose the position.

A final thought: if West had had the flair to pass Two Hearts, he might have achieved a signal success. Best defence holds declarer to one trick - but minus 700 is better than minus 2200]

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