Games: Bridge

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The Independent Online
Both North and South were a little optimistic in the bidding on this deal and an accurate defence led to a defeat of their game. Close analysis, however, suggests that there was a route to success, but that it would have been difficult to find at the table.

West opened 1NT, and after two passes South doubled. West and North were happy to pass, but East wisely retreated to 2!. With an awkward decision (he held undisclosed card values), South jumped to 34 and on the strength of his three trumps, a doubleton and an ace, North went on to game. Against Four Spades, West made the good lead of a low trump.

After winning in hand, declarer followed with the ace and another diamond. If West had failed to unblock, he would have had to win the second diamond and would then have been badly placed, unable to lead a second trump with safety, and with South obviously threatening to ruff two diamonds in dummy.

So, after careful thought, West played #Q under the ace and let the next diamond run to East. Now a second trump lead held declarer to nine tricks.

It was well defended, but can you see (double-dummy) a route to success? Suppose declarer crosses to 2A at trick two before leading a diamond from dummy. East must insert the nine (else South will play his eight) and West must unblock as before under the ace. Then a diamond back kills the defence, for if West plays low, South's #8 wins the fourth trick in the suit.

Game all; dealer West


48 7 2

!7 5 4 2

#10 2

2A 5 4 3

West East

4K 4 3 46 5

!Q J !10 9 8 6 3

#K Q 5 #J 9 7 6

2K Q 9 7 6 210 8


4A Q J 10 9

!A K

#A 8 4 3

2J 2