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The Independent Online
Luck comes in many forms. On this deal, North-South lacked the bidding machinery to identify a 4-4 fit in clubs and, as a result, played in an inferior Six No-trumps. This proved a fortunate make. Six Clubs would almost certainly have failed.

South opened Two No-trumps and North explored with Three Clubs. This was a Stayman enquiry and, after Three Diamonds by South had denied a major, North raised to Four No-trumps. Perhaps a little optimistically South went on to Six No-trumps and all passed.

West led the jack of clubs and declarer won in hand. There were 10 top winners and some extra chances - there was the spade finesse and the possibility of friendly breaks in any of the other three suits. It looked like any two from four.

South began by cashing a second club only to find that West had started with four. The king and queen of hearts brought further bad news. Then came three top diamonds and again the suit divided unevenly.

You may think that declarer should have been depressed at this point. Three chances out of four had failed to materialise. Nothing of the sort! He wore a beaming smile, for he knew the position. West, who had shown out in both hearts and diamonds, was down to two clubs and four spades, while East was in sole charge of the red suits.

It was easy now to play the ace and another club to throw West in. His enforced spade return (and now it did not matter who had started with the king) gave declarer two tricks in the suit, the second of which squeezed East.

Yes, you can make Six Clubs, but in practice you will not. It requires playing exactly one heart and two diamonds before throwing West in with the fourth round of trumps.

Game all; dealer South


49 4

!A 7 6 2

#A 6 3

2A 7 5 4

West East

4K J 8 7 5 3 410 6 2

!9 !J 10 8 4 3

#9 4 #J 10 8 5

2J 10 9 2 28


4A Q

!K Q 5

#K Q 7 2

2K Q 6 3