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East-West game; dealer North

North

410 8 4

!8 5 2

#9 7 6 3

28 7 4

West East

42 49 6 5

!Q J 10 6 3 !A 9 7

#K J 10 2 #A Q 8

2K J 5 2Q 9 6 2

South

4A K Q J 7 3

!K 4

#5 4

2A 10 3

All six pairs of suits have distinct names: major, minor, red, black, pointed and rounded. But what do you do with some of the new packs that are now being introduced? The elegant Spectrum cards, produced by Carta Mundi, have spades that are blue, green clubs, orange diamonds and only hearts retain their original colour.

The new colour scheme reminded me of what I thought was the best individual bid that I had ever made at the table.

To set the scene, I was South and playing in an international team tournament in Ostend, with the late Adam ("Plum") Meredith. Now Plum was addicted to psychic bids, especially in the spade suit.

Characteristically, he opened One Spade and, after a pass by East, I had a problem. It seemed very likely, but not 100 per cent sure, that he was up to his usual tricks. If I forced to game with Three Clubs there was the very real danger that that would be where I played. Inspiration came! We were playing the Baron system and I had the ideal bid: 2NT, forcing and suggesting a balanced 16-18 points. Needless to say, that was where I played, making exactly eight tricks after a heart lead.

Our French opponents (who had just missed a vulnerable heart game) did not rate this too highly but, as Plum explained to the tournament director, he had some black clubs muddled with his black spades. Perhaps it would not have happened with one of the new packs.

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