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The Independent Online
WEST'S BIDDING judgement was beautifully accurate on this deal; alas, his defence was not up to the same standard.

West opened One Diamond, East responded One Heart, and South overcalled with Two Spades (weak). After two passes East doubled - primarily for take-out and showing "cards". West now bid Three Clubs and North belatedly raised to Three Spades. East doubled again, this time explained by his partner as "more cards", and West repeated his clubs. North passed and East did well to stop (as you see, Five Diamonds can be defeated by a club ruff, and Five Clubs by repeated spade forces). But South pushed on to Four Spades and yet again East doubled. Finally West said "This time, I think he means it!"

West led 2J against Four Spades doubled and East, after winning, played another club, forcing declarer to ruff. 4A revealed the trump break; South realised that if he simply drew trumps the defenders would force every time they got in and he'd eventually lose a trump trick. Hoping to drive out one of West's entries, declarer finessed #Q and led a low heart, putting up the jack when East played low. West led a third club but declarer ruffed and led another heart. East won with his king but with no more clubs could not continue the forcing game. Finally South was able to draw trumps and claim.

East should have appreciated that the defence would be helpless unless his partner held !A. When the first heart was led from dummy, he should have gone in with his king and played another club. When West got in with his !A, he could have played a fourth club.

Love all; dealer West


4J 7 2

!Q 7 5

#A Q 5

27 6 5 3

West East

4none 4Q 6 4 3

!A 8 !K 4 3 2

#K J 10 9 7 3 #6 4

2J 10 9 8 2 2A K 4


4A K 10 9 8 5

!J 10 9 6

#8 2