Bridge

ONE OF the most infuriating situations in this game arises when you initiate a beautiful defence that seems almost sure to defeat declarer's contract only to find that your partner is not on the same wavelength. Consider this deal.

Three of the players, I am sure, would prefer to remain anonymous, but it was Lionel Wright (as East) who suffered.

The full auction (with East-West silent) was quite gruesome and ended with South becoming declarer in the near-impossible contract of Six Clubs and faced with a passive heart lead. After winning on the table, there was clearly nothing else to do but tackle trumps. If, on the lead of the three from dummy, Lionel had followed with the ten, there would have been only one lay-out of the trump suit - the actual one - that would have helped declarer. He would have finessed the jack and, win or lose, would later have continued with the king in the hope that East now held the bare queen.

In practice, however, Lionel brilliantly contributed his queen on the first round of trumps! You can see what happens if West ducks South's king smoothly - although declarer can still succeed by leading his jack and pinning the ten, he is far more likely to play East for an original holding of ace-queen alone and try a low club from hand instead of the jack.

It did not go quite like that, for West, dozing quietly, won the king with his ace. Now it was all over: South had no option but to cash his jack of clubs and - bingo! - drop East's ten.

Love all; dealer North

North

48 6 5 3

!A K Q

#A K Q 8 5

23

West East

4K J 9 7 4Q 10 2

!J 9 5 !10 8 6 3 2

#9 7 4 #6 3 2

2A 7 4 2Q 10

South

4A 4

!7 4

#J 10

2K J 9 8 6 5 2

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