Games: Bridge

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Game all; dealer South

North

4K 4 2

!A K 5 2

#8 6

2Q 5 3 2

West East

47 5 4A J 10

!J 10 9 !Q 7 3

#10 9 5 #7 4 3 2

2A 8 7 6 4 2K J 9

South

4Q 9 8 6 3

!8 6 4

#A K Q J

210

The North-South bidding on this deal was not entirely convincing but there was certainly a play for the spade game that they reached. There was, however, an interesting line that declarer overlooked and, playing routinely, he went one down.

South opened One Spade and North responded Two Clubs (Two Hearts would have suggested a five-card suit). South rebid Two Diamonds and North dithered. Four Spades, Two hearts and Two-No-trumps were all possibilities, but he finally chose the slight underbid of Three Spades. With little excuse except the lure of a vulnerable game, South went on to Four Spades and West led !J to dummy's ace.

Declarer started with a low spade from dummy, on which East played a slightly deceptive jack. South's queen won, but the next round of trumps was not a success: East drew dummy's remaining trumps and the defenders came to a heart and a club as well.

Well, what thoughts do you have about the play? With a trump suit combination such as this, it is usually better to start with a low card from one hand or the other, but here 4K from dummy at trick two would have been a better play; east would probably win and play a second heart. The South can cash 4Q and play on diamonds, discarding two hearts from the dummy. This way, the defence would make just two spades and a club. The point is that South wants to play just two rounds of trumps without risking the defenders playing a third.

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