Bridge

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Game all; dealer South

North

4A 6 5 3 2

!J

#J 8 3

210 9 7 2

West East

410 9 8 4 47

!Q 9 5 4 !K 10 6 3 2

#Q 9 6 #K 7 5 2

25 3 2A 8 4

South

4K Q J

!A 8 7

#A 10 4

2K Q J 6

I found "Bridge with a Feminine Touch" by David Bird and Simon Cocheme (Gollancz, pounds 6.99) a little lightweight but pleasnatly readable. Featuring fictitious characters - not everyone's cup of tea - it nevertheless includes some good hands.

In this one, after a pass by East, South opened 2NT. North bid 3! - a transfer to spades - and went on to 3NT after South's dutiful 34 rebid. Sensibly enough, South preferred the spade game and West led 410 against Four Spades.

It looked easy enough but the 4-1 trump break proved irritating. Three rounds of spades left declarer with the problem of drawing the last trump. It would be useless to cash !A and ruff a heart in order to reach 4A, for the defenders would have 2A and the remaining hearts to cash. No decided Debbie (the heroine of the book), the clubs would have to be tackled first.

As the cards lie, a club to the ten would have worked but declarer led 2K. It was not difficult for East to duck this, win the second club and give partner a ruff. Eventually declarer lost two diamond tricks and the contract.

Dummy made a bright suggestion. After three rounds of trumps declarer should lead a low heart from hand! Can you see the point? Dummy can now be entered with a heart ruff and the last trump drawn. Then clubs can be played and, when the defenders take their ace, South still has !A left and is in control.

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