Games: Bridge

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After making the obvious play at trick one, South found that he was unable to cope with the bad break in dummy's long suit. A little more thought might have helped.

North opened One Club, East overcalled with One Heart, and South bid Two No-trumps. An uninhibited West risked Three Spades (he might have escaped for the loss of 500 points) but North went on to Three No-trumps with touching, but misplaced, faith in his partner's dummy play.

West led !10 against Three No-trumps and, with what now appeared to be a treble guard in hearts, declarer covered with dummy's queen. East took his ace but, instead of continuing hearts, switched to 42. South covered with the 10 and won West's queen with the ace. He now started on clubs but, when West showed out on the second round, the suit could not be used. Declarer struggled on manfully but he could not manage it and ended with only eight tricks.

The play of !Q at trick one looked natural enough but observe the effect if !3 is played instead. If East takes his ace, he cannot knock out both of dummy's entries, and if he plays low, declarer still has 4A on the table to bring in the club suit. This gives declarer eight tricks and it should not be difficult for him to judge that East's spade was a singleton and for him to take the winning guess in diamonds.

North-South game; dealer North


4A 4

!Q 3

#4 3 2

2A Q 9 7 6 4

West East

4K Q 9 7 6 5 42

!10 2 !A J 7 6 5

#Q 8 7 6 #A 10 9

22 210 8 5 3


4J 10 8 3

!K 9 8 4

#K J 5

2K J