Bridge

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The Independent Online
South, normally an impassive performer, showed varying emotions as this deal was played. First came horror at his partner's bidding, followed by relief when he realised he was in a good contract. Then came concern at the tiresome trump break and finally a beam of delight as he executed a neat trump squeeze.

South opened One Diamond and West overcalled with Two Diamonds (showing the major suits and weak or strong but not intermediate). The rot started when North bid Two Hearts. He intended this, in the modern style, as merely showing a sound raise in diamonds. South, however, took it as a sign of strength and the final contract was Six Diamonds.

West led the ace of spades and dummy was not as South expected. He ruffed and quickly saw that, if trumps fell in two rounds, all he would need would be to find the ace of hearts well placed. The ace of trumps brought bad news. If he drew trumps he would be a trick short, and East would surely be able to over-ruff a third round of hearts. But there was still a chance.

Declarer led a low heart from hand; West took his ace and returned the suit, but East could not ruff. Declarer ruffed a spade in hand and successfully cashed three clubs, ending in hand.

Finally came the queen and jack of trumps, leaving West to discard from 4K J !Q J.

If he parted with a heart, dummy would follow with the six of diamonds and a heart trick would be set up with a ruff. If he released a spade, the trump would be overtaken on the table and a spade trick successfully established.

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