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Nowadays it seems increasingly rare that I do good things at the bridge table. This deal, therefore, is highly noteworthy as I did no fewer than two good things.

As North, I opened One Diamond and South responded One Spade. With a little in reserve I raised to only Two Spades. As my raise might have been based on only three card support, South then tried Two No-trumps and I made the decision - as it turned out, a happy one - to try for the nine-trick game rather than jump to Four Spades.

Look what would have happened to Four Spades: the defence starts with four rounds of diamonds. East ruffs the fourth with his ten of spades and now there are two trump tricks to lose as well.

With North-South in Three No-trumps, West led the nine of hearts. Declarer won on the table, tested the spades, quietly winced, and cashed the rest of his eight top winners ending in dummy.

Then, observing that he could make no more tricks, he conceded one off. Fortunately I was still there and quoted Law 71: "A concession of a trick must stand, once made, except if (A.1.) it cannot be lost by any legal play of the remaining cards."

Do you see what I am getting at? The lead (very fortunately!) was in dummy and West, after winning his spade and three diamond tricks, must, by any legal play, have the two of diamonds left for his last card.

Game all; dealer North


4 A Q 3 2

! K 5

# J 9 8 3

2 A J 9

West East

4 J 9 8 5 4 10

! 9 2 ! Q J 10 8 7 4

# A K Q 2 # K 8 3 2

2 8 6 4 2 9 7 6 3


4 K 7 6 4

! A 6 3

# 10 7 6

2 K Q 10