Indoor: Bridge

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Game all; dealer South

North

4K 7 2

!10 6 4

#K 10 9 2

27 5 3

West East

4Q J 6 410 9 8 3

!J 9 2 !Q 8 5 3

#7 6 #A J 5 4 3

2J 10 9 8 4 2none

South

4A 5 4

!A K 7

#Q 8

2A K Q 6 2

"I saw a hand just like this in a book of problems!" South claimed excitedly after this deal. There was one tiny snag: he only remembered the critical play after he had gone down in Three No-trumps.

Upgrading his hand slightly on the strrength of his healthy five-card suit, South opened 22 and rebid 2NT over North's negative response. Although this was not forcing, North had plenty with which to raise to game.

West led 2J against 3NT and East discarded a diamond. This was irritating for declarer as it meant that nothing extra would come in from clubs. Never mind, he thought; with a sure side entry to dummy, the diamonds would provide the missing two tricks. It did not work out like that for when at trick two declarer led #Q, East allowed it to hold. Now the diamond suit was dead and, whatever South tried, he was now restricted to eight tricks.

Well, what was the theme of the temporarily forgotten old problem? After discovering the tiresome club break at trick one, declarer should have led and run #8. If this is allowed to hold, it is easy to establish a second trick in the suit; if the eight loses to the jack, South's queen can be overtaken with the king and (with the vital spade entry still there) two tricks established by force.

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