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When you are watching Bridgerama and can see all four hands, it is very easy to criticise the errors made by the players (who cannot). This deal, from last month's Generali European Championships, was a case in point. Nobody was backward in the bidding, which went:

South West North East

Pass Pass 12 1#

1! 4# 4! all pass

(South's One Heart bid showed at least a five-card suit.)

West started with the #A (yes, of course a club lead could have led to a defensive ruff, but that really would have been an unnatural shot) and switched to a trump. Now East, rather wetly, cashed his two top trumps and led a third. This was a "defence" that did not really trouble declarer.

There were so many ways in which the contract could have been defeated. For example, a second round of diamonds forces declarer to ruff on the table. Now, if he plays on trumps, East surely ducks the first round, wins the second and can play a forcing game in diamonds to come to a third trump trick.

We all saw that on Bridgerama - even the commentators - but Four Hearts was nearly always made in practice.

East-West game; dealer South


4A K Q 2

!Q J 5


2A J 10 7 5

West East

4J 10 8 6 47 5 3

!2 !A K 7 6

#A K J 6 3 #Q 10 9 5 2

28 4 2 26


49 4

!10 9 8 4 3

#7 4

2K Q 9 3