Bridge

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Indy Lifestyle Online
The World Championships in Albuquerque last month produced a wide range of excellent material, particularly in the pairs' events where the same hands were played at around 200 tables. Here is a part score from the mixed pairs, which has several points of interest.

North-South game dealer South North S 10 6 5 H K 9 8 D 9 8 7 3 C 8 7 6 West J 9 7 3 Q 6 4 3 5 4 2 K 5 East A K 2 J 2 K Q 10 6 A J 9 2 South Q 8 4 A 10 7 5 A J Q 10 4 3 As South, my partner opened One No-trump (13-15 points). After a pass by West, I found myself looking at a balanced three-count coupled with a premonition of disaster.

I might have tried a spurious Stayman bid of Two Clubs in an attempt to lay a smokescreen and deter East- West from a lucrative double, but eventually I decided to pass and hope for the best.

The worst happened when East found a double and this was followed by two passes. Too late now for any hope of rescue, so I gritted my teeth and passed. Not many pairs were playing a weak no-trump, especially vulnerable against not, but we could not possibly do any worse than achieve a bottom score.

Things brightened slightly when West led the three of hearts and dummy's eight was covered by East's jack. Now a successful finesse of the nine of hearts meant that there were four tricks in sight, and matters brightened still more when the eight of clubs was run and forced West's king.

West switched to a spade and, after winning with the king, East tried the king of diamonds. Declarer won with the ace and crossed to dummy's king of hearts.

At this point, East had to make a discard. Judging (correctly) that his partner did not hold the queen of spades but (incorrectly) that she might still hold the jack of diamonds, he mistakenly parted with his low spade.

Now it was all over.

He won the next club lead with his ace and tried the diamonds, but South produced the jack and dummy's nine became a useful card. Soon East was reduced to leading a club himself or giving dummy the lead with a diamond.

It was no great surprise when plus 180 proved to be practically the top score for North-South.

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