Bridge

"NO TWO ways - reading pays!" exulted partner on bringing home this Three No-trumps contract with an overtrick - along with most of the match points - in a local duplicate. I raised an interrogative eyebrow. "You remember the hand I mangled last week? Well, I've been re-reading Dormer on Deduction, in which he describes a situation very similar to this deal."

South opened One No-trump and l raised to three, our bidding giving few clues to the opponents.

West led the three of spades, which East won with the ace; he then returned the nine, with declarer winning.

She ran the queen of diamonds, which held, then the jack, on which West showed out. East took his king and returned the suit. Partner now went into a long trance. She emerged to play the king and queen of clubs, followed by a successful finesse of the ten. I asked partner why she had chosen to finesse in clubs rather than play for the 3-3 break, as I had not been watching the play too closely.

"If West had a five-card suit, surely he would have led it? So when his lead proved to be from a poor four-card suit, and then he showed out on the second diamond, I felt he must have a 4-4-1-4 distribution. When the club jack did not fall under the king or queen, then West must have started with Jxxx."

To my mind, Dormer on Deduction (Victor Gollancz, Master Bridge Series), which I reviewed some while ago, is one of the best bridge books I have read. It certainly scored on this deal.

Game all; dealer South

North

410 7 5

!K 8

#A 10 6 4

2A 10 8 4

West East

4J 8 4 3 4A 9

!J 7 6 3 !A 10 9 4

#7 #K 9 5 3 2

2J 6 3 2 27 5

South

4K Q 6 2

!Q 5 2

#Q J 8

2K Q 9

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