Games: Bridge

A combination of avoidance and reverse dummy play must be something of a rarity and difficult to find. It certainly eluded South on this deal, and it was only after studying the hand for an hour or two after the rubber was over that he came up with the right answer.

East opened One Heart and, after two passes, North doubled. East bid Three Hearts but after South had volunteered a spade bid, North raised to Four Spades. West led !10 and declarer ruffed the heart continuation.

Declarer's problem was twofold. If he drew two rounds of trumps, East might be able to get in with the ace of diamonds and draw a third round, leaving South a trick short. If he did not draw some trumps, there was the danger of an over-ruff on hearts by the short trump hand.

The solution eventually reached was quite neat, as South was able to explain the next day. He should draw two rounds of trumps, ending in dummy, then lead #5. If East goes in with #A, South has two diamond tricks and no problem. So suppose East plays low. #Q wins and, using clubs as entries to dummy, South ruffs two more hearts in hand before continuing clubs. At no point would it have helped East to ruff in with his master trump.

Game all; dealer East

North

4A 7 4

!Q 7 5 3

#K 5

2A K 10 8

West East

4Q 2 4J 10 5

!10 6 !A K J 9 8 4

#10 7 6 4 2 #A J 9

2Q 6 5 3 24

South

4K 9 8 6 3

!2

#Q 8 3

2Q J 7 2

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