bridge

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Game all; dealer West

North

4 10 6 5 2

! A K Q 8 4

# K 10 3

2 5

West East

4 9 3 4 K 8 4

! J 6 ! 10 9 7

# J 7 5 2 # A 9 8 4

2 A J 10 8 7 2 K Q 6

South

4 A Q J 7

! 5 3 2

# Q 6

2 9 4 3 2

A "frozen" suit is one that no one can lead without conceding an extra trick. For example, dummy holds Q 10, East K 2, declarer A 3 and West J 4. Barry Rigal reported this rarity, with a trump element, from the European Championships.

North opened One Heart, South responded One Spade, and North raised aggressively to Three Spades. South went on to game and West led the two of diamonds against Four Spades.

Dummy played low and East mistakenly decided to put in the eight, allowing South's queen to win. With both major suits behaving, 11 tricks were now easy, but South found a neat way to take advantage of East's slip to garner an extra overtrick. (It was his bad luck that this deal came up in match play where the odd overtrick counts for little.)

After crossing to a top heart, declarer led the ten of spades and picked up the trumps. Then he cashed four more hearts, discarding a diamond and a club from hand. This left the lead in dummy with 46 #K 10 25 and declarer with 47 29 4 3. Now what of the defenders? West had had to save #J 7 (otherwise declarer would have led the king from dummy and pinned his jack); East had had to keep #A 9 (otherwise declarer would have ruffed a diamond and established the king).

This meant that they both had to come down to two clubs and, when declarer exited with a club, it did not matter who won it. The diamond suit was frozen - neither East nor West could lead it without giving away a trick - and if the defenders played another club, a ruff in dummy established declarer's 29. It really was a remarkable ending.

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