Bridge

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The Independent Online
THIS WAS the first board watched on VuGraph in this year's Macallan Invitation Pairs. It featured successful defending champions Helgemo and Helness of Norway against Irving Gordon and Boris Schapiro (who, at 89, had just added his 11th Gold Cup win to the World Senior Pairs title he won last year).

Boris, as South, opened One Club. West doubled and, ignoring the double in the modern style, Irving responded One Diamond. South jumped to Three Clubs and, when his partner explored with Three Hearts, bid Three No-trumps to end the auction. West led a top heart to inspect dummy, then switched to a spade. Dummy's void in clubs presented communication problems but declarer solved them in seconds (I know players who would get it wrong even after seeing the full deal).

What was the elegant solution? Boris won the spade switch with dummy's ace and led a low diamond to his 10. As you can see, if West wins this, the diamonds are established, and there is still a spade entry for South to reach his top clubs. Helness, as West, did his best by ducking, but, with the extra entry to hand, declarer was able to establish his clubs while he still held the king of spades as the vital re-entry. It was perhaps unlucky for the Britons that the rest of the field had also made game with the North-South cards, and as a result they gained only by making the overtrick.

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