Games: Bridge

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Indy Lifestyle Online
There is a great deal of good material in Secrets of Expert Card Play by David Bird and Tony Forrester (Batsford, pounds 9.99) and Forrester's play on this deal struck me as completely original - and successful!

East opened One No-trump (12-14 points) and, as South, Tony overcalled with Four Spades. West doubled and led !2 to the ten and jack. Dummy must have been something of a disappointment (not even #J!) and, with no conceivable entry to the table, the contract looks certain to go off, with the loss of two spades and two diamonds.

After ruffing the heart, there seems nothing to choose between leading a low trump or starting with the ace and another - both plays, as the cards lie, leading to the obvious two spade losers. Instead, Tony introduced a deceptive diversion when, at trick two, he led the queen of spades.

West studied this for some time for, from his point of view, it would be a mistake to play his king if South had started with an eight-card spade suit headed by the queen and jack. For then, playing low would give the defenders three tricks, while winning with his king might restrict them to only two tricks in the suit.

Yes, you have guessed: West played low, and now the ace and another trump cleared the suit. Now there were only two diamonds to be lost. The play of the spade queen could in fact only lose if a defender had started with precisely king and another in the suit.

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