Bridge Alan Hiron

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Game all; dealer South


4Q 5 4


#A K 8 7 6 3 2

27 5 2

West East

4K 10 2 48 3

!Q 6 3 !K 7 5 4 2

#J 10 #Q 5 4

2A K J 9 6 210 8 3


4A J 9 7 6

!A J 10 9 8


2Q 4

It is bad form, I dare say, to fasten onto a flaw in the analysis of a fellow bridge journalist, but this deal, described by ex-team-mate Edwin Kantar in the American Bridge World, caught my eye.

South opened one Spade, as West you overcalled with two Clubs, and North bid Two Diamonds. South showed his hearts and repeated the suit as a try or game, after North had given preference to spades.

The final contract was Four Spades and you started by cashing two top clubs. Now what? Eddie suggested that there is the danger that one ruff will establish the diamonds with the queen of spades as an eventual entry, and that the right defence was to force dummy to ruff.

As he rightly pointed out, a low heart does not achieve the desired effect: the king loses to the ace and, instead of using the diamonds, declarer can now take a ruffing finesse in hearts. The recommended defence was to lead the !Q. Then, when in with the 4K, another heart lead kills the threat of dummy's diamonds.

Extremely elegant, but what about the much simpler idea of forcing declarer with a thrid round of clubs? After declarer has ruffed, he has to use another trump to establish the diamonds. West does not over-ruff but, when he gets in with his 4K, a fourth round of clubs finishes South's chances whatever he tries.