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Sunday, October 21, 2001
Bridge

Student of spot cards
by Omar Sharif

IT would have been easy to go off in Four Hearts on this week’s deal but the declarer was a keen student of the spot cards.

As he said afterwards: "It would not have been as easy if I had not been dealt the seven of Clubs!" He was right, too.

South dealt with East-West vulnerable and opened One Heart. North raised to Two Hearts, East overcalled with Three Diamonds and South (not famed for the delicacy of his methods) bid Four Hearts.

The level was too high for West to compete and all passed. West led the Queen of Diamonds and switched to the six of Spades, covered by the Jack, Queen and King. After a Spade to the Ace declarer tried a trump and, when East showed out, played the Queen.

West won and led a second Diamond but South ruffed, trumped a Spade on the table and drew trumps ending in dummy. Next came the two of Clubs, East played low and declarer put in the seven. As the cards lay, this forced the King and South was home and dry.

West suggested that his partner might have done better to play the nine on the first round of Clubs but it would have made no difference.

South covers the nine with his Queen and West take his King. But now, after a Diamond lead, declarer ruffs on the table (discarding his last Spade) and can finesse against East’s Jack of Clubs.

If you exchange the six and seven of Clubs, the play does not quite work.

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