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Sunday
, June 16, 2002

Bridge

When North showed great restraint
by Omar Sharif

"I DONíT think that I played that as well as I might have done," observed South.

"You may be right," agreed North coutreously. As his partner had just gone down in a grand slam possibly of his own making, I feel North showed great restraint.

At game all, South opened One Club, North forced with Two Diamonds and when, after some enquiries, South found his partner with an Ace and three Kings, he essayed a grand slam in notrumps. West led the Queen of Hearts and it was clear to declarer that there were 12 top winners and that the 13th had to come from one of the black suits.

After winning in hand, he played off the Ace of Clubs (to cater for a possible singleton Queen), tested the Spades to find that they produced only three tricks, ran the Diamond winners and finally fell back on a losing Club finesse.

My opinion? I think South would have done better to cash both top Clubs (gaining if West held the doubleton Queen), then play off all the red suit winners, throwing three Clubs from hand.

Then he is still home if the Spades divide evenly (or the Jack falls), and has given himself the extra chance that either defender (West in this case) will be faced with the impossible task of keeping the Queen of Clubs and guarding the Spades.

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