Bridge: A route to success

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The Independent Online
IT LOOKED as though the defence had got off to a good start on this deal from a recent pairs event, but declarer read the position well to land his contract.

Game all; dealer South

North

C K 6 5 2

H K 10 3

D A 7 5

S 7 4 2

West

Q J 9

J 8 6 2

9 3

Q 10 8 5

East

none

9 7 5

K Q 10 6 4

A K J 9 3

South

A 10 8 7 4 3

A Q 4

J 8 2

6

South opened One Spade and North raised to Three Spades. East overcalled with Three No-trumps, suggesting length in the minor suits, and South bid Four Spades. A save in Five Clubs would have cost only 500 points but West decided to take his chance in defence.

The lead was the nine of diamonds. Dummy ducked and East won with the queen. With more nerve than I would care to muster, he underled his club honours and West got in for another diamond lead.

There was no point in ducking this, but after winning with dummy's ace, a spade lead to the ace revealed a loser in the suit. It looked as though the defenders had got matters right, but South had already spotted a route to success.

He crossed to the king of spades and ruffed a club, went over to the queen of hearts and ruffed another club. Then he played off his two top hearts and exited with a trump. On lead, West had to concede a ruff and discard, and declarer's losing diamond went away.

For ambitious pairs a new book, Partnership Bidding at Bridge by Andrew Robson and Oliver Segal (Faber pounds 8.99), contains many original and provoking ideas but be warned - this is not a book for the casual player.

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