Games: Bridge

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Liz McGowan, playing for the British Ladies' team on their route to Gold in the Generali European Championships, displayed nice technique on this deal.

North (Heather Dhondy) opened One Diamond, East overcalled with One Heart and Liz bid One Spade. A rather feeble raise to Two Hearts came round to South, who doubled (primarily for take-outs). Belatedly, West went on to Three Hearts and, after two passes, South doubled again. (At this point the spectators wondered whether West would bid a fourth heart and South double for a third time to collect 500 points.) No, West passed, North bid a reluctant Three Spades and South went on to game.

Against Four Spades, West started with two top hearts and Liz McGowan showed good technique by discarding. Now she was in control and, when the ten of spades dropped on the second round of trumps, she was able to claim.

Oddly enough, there was an alternative line. Declarer can indeed afford to ruff at trick two, as long as she does not touch trumps. By simply playing minor suit winners until East ruffs, declarer keeps control in a completely different way - but who would want to play like that?

East-West game; dealer West


48 3

!9 5

#A K 9 8 6

2A J 10 3

West East

410 7 4A 6 4 2

!A K 8 4 3 !Q J 10 7 6

#10 4 2 #7 5

29 5 4 27 6


4K Q J 9 5


#Q J 3

2K Q 8 2