Games: Bridge

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The Independent Online
When you hold a hand such as South's on this deal, you may have a problem with your opening bid, but what you do not expect is the full orchestra striking up.

South opened One Heart, West pre-empted with Four Clubs and, under pressure, North decided to compete with Four Hearts. Not one to be excluded from the act, East was there with Four Spades and South jumped to Six Hearts. West considered a sacrifice in spades (which would have cost 1,100 points) but decided to pass.

West led 48 against Six Hearts and, after taking his ace, East returned his singleton club. Now South was able to claim, explaining that he was drawing trumps and throwing two diamonds from dummy on 4K,Q.

This cost East-West 1,430 points and East was mildly irritated that his partner had not saved. West, however, remained unapologetic, for he had studied the full hand. We can defeat Six Hearts," he claimed.

"Rubbish," replied his partner politely.

Well, who was right?

It was the inoffensive West whose analysis was more accurate. Suppose that East had withheld his SA at trick one. It would have been a play that could easily have been wrong but, as the cards lie, although South does not lose a spade trick, he cannot escape two diamond losers.

North-South game; dealer South



!Q 9 8 6 4

#K 7 6 5

2Q 10 7

West East

48 7 6 4A J 10 9 5 4

!5 !3 2

#3 #Q J 10 9

2K J 9 8 6 4 3 2 25



!6 4 3

#A 9 8 5 3

2A Q 7 4