bridge

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Game all; dealer West

North

48 2

!A 9 8 7 6

#A 4

2Q 7 5 3

West East

4A 6 5 4 4Q J 9 7 3

!J 10 !K

#K Q 10 9 5 #8 7 6 3

29 6 2K 10 8

South

4K 10

!Q 5 4 3 2

#J 2

2A J 4 2

"I think that I could have made that," was South's comment on this deal, "but I can't quite see where I went wrong." Would you have done better?

After three passes, South had a problem: should he open the bidding with his rather uninteresting 11 points or pass? As you may guess, he opened One Heart. West passed and North's Four Hearts ended the auction.

West led the #K and declarer regarded dummy with mixed feelings. He won with dummy's ace and brightened considerably when the king of trumps fell under the ace. The queen drew the remaining trump and it seemed a good idea to exit with the #J, reasoning that any return from West would help. It did not, when West got off lead with the 29. Now East won the third round of clubs and his return of the 4Q meant two more tricks for the defenders.

Improvements? What about a club finesse before the diamond play? Making the necessary assumption that clubs are 3-2, if the finesse wins, the 2A will either drop the king or leave West with no safe exit when he is put in with the #Q. And if the club finesse loses? Well, as long as the suit is 3-2, declarer is home and dry. Remember, West passed as dealer; if he holds the 2K and #K Q he is most unlikely to have the 4A as well.

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