Bridge

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North-South game; dealer East

North

4Q 9 7 2

!A K 10 3

#A K 4

2K 5

West East

4A 6 5 4 48

!Q 9 7 6 2 !J 5

#J 10 9 3 #8 6 5

2none 2A Q J 9 8 7 6

South

4K J 10 3

!8 4

#Q 7 2

210 4 3 2

North had an awkward decision to make on this deal from match- play. East opened a rather heavy (by modern standards) 32 but his choice lay between Three and Five, because 42 would have meant something quite different - a strong pre-empt in hearts.

Now what do you do with the North hand after two passes? Double to suggest the major suits, or bid 3NT to protect 2K from immediate attack? One North decided to double ad, after a response of 34 by South, pushed on to the spade game.

West's lead of DJ against Four Spades was significant. Why had he not led his partner's suit? South got matters right: playing carefully he won in hand and led 410. West played low and the fall of East's eight strongly suggested a 4-1 trump break. Two top hearts were followed by a heart ruff, dummy was re-entered with a top diamond, and another heart was ruffed in hand. The dummy reversal was complete. Eventually declarer lost two club tricks and the ace of trumps.

At the other table, North took a different view when he re-opened with 3NT rather than double when East's pre-empt came round to him. All passed, and the passive diamond lead from East left declarer looking at only eight tricks.

He won in hand and knocked out 4A but was still looking for his ninth trick. I hope that you found the same solution that North did at the table. He decided that his best chance was to find East with a 1-2-3-7 distribution and, after cashing everything available, he led 2K! East now had no exit cards and, at the end, the 210 became declarer's ninth winner. In spite of his neat play, North found himself losing 1 i.m.p on the deal.

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