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Sunday
, March 3, 2002

Bridge

West led the King of Spades
by Omar Sharif

IT is a good idea, with two-suited hands, to attempt to establish the side-suit before drawing trumps ...

South dealt at love all and opened Two Hearts. West over-called with Two Spades and, after two passes, South tried Three Clubs. West passed and North made the good practical bid of Five Clubs.

This, after his first round pass, suggested excellent trump support but little else. South confidently pressed on to Six Clubs and all passed. West led the King of Spades and, after winning, declarer set to work on the Hearts. He cashed the ace and ruffed a heart on the table. After coming to hand with a top trump he realised there was a problem: South could not be sure that the Hearts had become established. It was too late now to try HKin case it was ruffed.

To cater for the possibility of a 4-2 break in Hearts, he trumped another in dummy only to find that this was unnecessary. The trumps proved to be 3-1. Although the Hearts were established, South found himself with a losing Spade and a losing diamond at the end.

As declarer could never have coped with a 5-1 Heart division, he could have cashed both HA and HK before ruffing a Heart.

After the third round he will know if a fourth Heart has to be trumped (when he will have to rely on a 2-2 trump break) or if the suit is established and he can cope with the actual 3-1 break in trumps.

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