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The Independent Online
THE LEDERER Memorial Trophy, played last November, was won by the so-called "All Stars" team of Zia Mahmood, Andrew Robson, Gunnar Halberg and Colin Simpson; the Premier League winners of the preceding season came second.

This deal helped the winners on their way and earned Andrew Robson (sitting East) the award for best play of the tournament. His opponents had bid efficiently to a slightly optimistic but reasonable slam as follows: 1! - 14; 2# - 32; 34 - 4 No-trumps; 5# - 64 with almost silent opposition (West doubled 32). 4 No-trumps was Roman Key Card Blackwood.

West led 2K against the slam and, after winning with his ace, declarer advanced his singleton diamond. The king lost to the ace and this left Robson with a critical play to make. At this point most defenders simply forced dummy with another club lead, hoping to come to a trump trick, but Robson read a little more into the situation. He saw that, after this defence, declarer would simply be able to cross-ruff his way to 12 tricks. Instead of a club, he switched to a low trump!

Now the cross-ruff game would have left declarer a trick short and, although the distinctly fortuitous heart position could still have led him to success, it looked more natural to play to establish dummy's diamonds. Now the (rather unexpected) 4-1 trump break meant that the hand got out of control and the slam failed.

We are sorry to report that Alan Hiron died this week (obituary, 9 June). His name will continue to appear on the columns he wrote before his death.

Love all; dealer North


4K 10 7

!K 9 6 5 2

#K Q 9 8 4


West East

42 4J 8 5 3

!7 4 3 !Q J

#J 10 3 2 #A 7 6

2K Q 9 7 2 210 8 5 4


4A Q 9 6 4

!A 10 8


2A J 6 3