Games: Bridge

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The Independent Online
West had a difficult lead to find at trick three on this deal. There was a solution to his problem, but even seeing all four hands the winning defence is not obvious.

South had opened One Spade and, eschewing such modern ideas as a Michaels Cue-bid, West overcalled with Two Clubs. Stretching slightly, North raised to Four Spades and, although both East and West might have been tempted to contest, they were deterred by the vulnerability.

West led #2 against Four Spades; East took his ace and returned #J for his partner to ruff South's queen. So far, so good, but what now? A heart at this point would give declarer two tricks in the suit and dummy's third heart would go away on the king of diamonds later on.

In practice, West led his 2A, but South ruffed and was able to dispose of his losing hearts on dummy's clubs.

It would have been a difficult play to find at the table, but now you have all the clues. If both 2A and any heart fail, what is left? Yes, West can defeat the contract by leading 2J at this point. Declarer gets one discard from hand but still has a spade and a heart to lose.