Games: Bridge

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This was another well-managed deal by the Norwegian winners of the recent Macallan International Pairs in London, Geir Helgemo and Tor Helness. Taking full advantage of a defensive inaccuracy, Helness successfully reduced five potential losers to four.

East opened One Spade (yes, even the waiter would not have rated this collection of tram-tickets an opening bid, but the Hackett twins do) and South passed. West, well aware of his brother's propensity for light openings, contented himself with a raise to Two Spades and North doubled. After a pass by East, South bid Two No-trumps, conventionally the start of a "scramble". West doubled and, after two passes, South's next bid of Three Diamonds ended the auction.

The defence started well with three rounds of spades, forcing dummy to ruff. Declarer played on clubs and, on winning the second round, East missed his chance for a fourth round of spades which would have promoted a trump trick for his partner. Instead he exited passively with a club.

Placing the cards well, declarer made the critical play when he discarded a heart not a spade, from hand. Next a heart went to the king and ace, and West did his best by returning a heart. South won on the table with the queen and ruffed a low heart in hand. Now the remaining trumps could be drawn and the established ten of hearts provided the ninth trick.

North-South game; dealer East


410 5

!Q 10 4 2

#A K Q 2

2Q J 3

West East

4K Q 2 4A J 7 6

!A 7 5 !J 9 3

#J 10 6 #9 5

210 7 5 2 2A 9 6 4


49 8 4 3

!K 8 6

#8 7 4 3

2K 8