Games - Bridge

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This deal from the Generali European Championships earlier this year was only an apparently dull part-score, but the defence was really elegant.

South opened One Diamond, West (rather cautiously) passed, and North responded One Heart - on a hand where a pass would have escaped criticism. South rebid Two No-trumps, and there the matter rested.

West led the five of spades against Two No-trumps, dummy played low and - what would you have played now? I bet it would be the nine of spades, after which the defence would have no chance.

At the table, calculating correctly that if his partner's lead was a genuine fourth highest, declarer has only one card to beat it - and it is almost certainly the ace of spades - East followed with his six.

Now the defence went like a dream: East won an early diamond, put his partner in with a heart and, on the next spade lead, took both his nine and his king before putting West in again with another heart to cash his queen of spades. Absolute poetry!

Game all; dealer South


4J 8 3 2

!Q J 8 5

#10 7 2

2J 3

West East

4Q 10 7 5 4K 9 6

!A K 7 2 !10 6 3

#9 #A 8 4 3

2Q 7 5 2 28 6 4


4A 4

!9 4

#K Q J 6 5

2A K 10 9