Games: Bridge

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South opened One Spade, North responded One No-trump, and South forced with three Hearts. With no firm guard in diamonds and only three- card heart support, North gave false preference to Three Spades. For some reason, North-South were not satisfied with a mere game in Spades and the final contract was Six Spades.

How do you rate South's chances in the spade slam? Hopeless, unless West starts with something imaginative such as the king of clubs? And certainly zero after a diamond lead. In practice (the bidding had been very confusing) West started with a trump, which at least gave declarer breathing space.

Suddenly South saw a chink of light. He won in dummy and followed up with the two of clubs! It would have taken a strong-minded East to play low, and this particular East obliged with the ace. Now declarer was in business. He ruffed, crossed to dummy's remaining trump and led the jack of clubs - discarding a diamond when East played low.

West won and belatedly switched to diamonds, but after winning and drawing the last trump, South could cross to dummy with a heart and take a ruffing finesse in clubs against East's queen to dispose of his remaining diamond. A neat piece of opportunism, you must admit.

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