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The Doctor's Consultation

Don’t Miss

Agony Column

Camera Class by Snapshot

Money Matters

Let's Go To The Movies


Bridge in Paradise

The Doctor's Consultation:  by Dr. Iain Corness

Diet for Dentures

We are all getting older. The average age of westerners is increasing. The older we get, the fewer teeth we have. The need for dentures is increasing.
We can now expect to live longer - that’s the up side. Unfortunately, there is a down side (there always is, isn’t there?) and that is just simply that the longer you live, the more parts of you that end up wearing out. Just like your car in that respect. And if you didn’t look after yourself some years ago, your past indiscretions can surely come round to bite you now! And I suppose that gets me back to dentures!
Talking about ‘biting’, one of the organs that can show the ravages of time is your digestive organ, the gut. As the body ages, the gastrointestinal tract changes and people tend to develop more problems with constipation. The pundits will tell you a high-fiber diet can prevent that, but many elderly people, especially those with dentures, do not want to eat the seed-filled or crunchy food that is typically high in fiber. They go for soft food that is easily chewed, but is often high in fat.
So where can we get some fiber? Try some cooked or baked vegetables, fresh fruit and high-fiber breakfast cereals as these are some denture-friendly ways to get fiber in the diet. Beans and black-eyed peas are also nutritious and inexpensive.
Another problem, especially in hot climates such as in Thailand, is insufficient intake of water. The elderly have a decreased thirst and often do not get enough fluids in their diet. Getting plenty of fluids helps prevent constipation, because the bowel is a water absorber. The constipation decreases when fluids are taken generously. Milk, tea, coffee, soda, ice cream and soup all count as fluids. But not beer, sorry!
Exercise plays a part here too. Get more physical, not less. The amount of exercise needed depends on the person, but in general, people need to step up their activity as they get older. Elderly people often do the opposite, because of bad knees or arthritis. Instead of becoming a couch potato, they need to walk, bicycle, swim, garden and find other ways to stay on the move.
As we age, our calorie needs decrease due to a drop in muscle strength from taking less physical activity (see above). However, vitamin and mineral needs may stay the same or even increase if the body absorbs them less efficiently. The daily calorific requirement varies from person to person, but as a very rough guide, males need to drop their calorie intake by around 20 percent after the age of retirement (2,500 cals down to 2,100 cals) and women from 2,000 down to 1,800 cals.
There are many foods and ingredients needed to retain optimum health, including those high in Vitamin C, such as blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, citrus fruit, kiwi fruit, peaches, mango, cantaloupe melon, and apples.
Vegetables high in Vitamin A (beta-carotene) and Vitamin C including carrots, squash, sweet potato, tomatoes, spinach, kale, collard greens, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, onions, leeks and avocado.
Fish should also be included as many are rich in Omega-3 essential fatty acids and high in Vitamin E, like salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, tuna and trout. It is also a good idea to substitute white fish in place of red meat.
Some nuts and seeds are also rich in Omega-3 essential fatty acids and high in Vitamin E, including unsalted nuts, walnuts, cashews, Brazil nuts and almonds, and seeds such as poppy seeds, sunflower, flax seeds and pumpkin seeds.
Proteins are also important in the diet for dentures and should include eggs, white fish, milk, cheese, yogurt, lean meat, chicken, beans and lentils.
Fiber can come from lentils, chick peas (garbanzo beans), brown rice, whole wheat bread, wheatgerm, whole wheat cereals and whole wheat crackers.
A good spread of items, different dishes every day, plenty of water and moderation in all things seems to be the answer. A glass of red wine washes it all down nicely, too.


Don’t Miss

May - Children’s classes at ArtSpace on 7 - Correction. The classes will be held either on Mondays from 4 p.m. to 5. 30 p.m. or Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 2.30 p.m. dependent on bookings.
May 1. The Choral Association of Thailand
presents a concert by three Chiang Mai choirs, the Thai Youth Choir, the Montfort College Choir and the Dara College Choir, which will take place at Dara College’s Dara Rassami Auditorium, beginning at 7.p.m.  Admission is free.  Choral music in Chiang Mai is achieving a high standard these days, with many more people of all ages getting involved!  For more information, please call 086-300-9959.
May 4 and May 8.  Recital by Ong-ard. 
Following his debut recital as a counter-tenor last year at Santi Music School, Ong-ard will present his second recital, to be held on May 4 at Baan Kru Book on Nimmanhaemin Soi 11, beginning at 7.30, and May 8 at the AUA auditorium, again at 7.30.  The programme will include songs by Schubert, Brahms, Debussy, Faure, Hahn, Satie and others.  The counter-tenor vocal register is recognised for its rarity and purity of tone, with its history rooted in the Italian ‘castrati’ tradition - the quality and beauty of Ong-ard’s voice reaches an international standard.  Admission to both concerts is 200 baht, for reservations, please call 081-881-8634, or email on [email protected]  Please note that seating for the May 4 recital is limited to 20.
May 9: The 2009 Amari Rally
. For the ‘early birds’ amongst us, a good place to be at 7 a.m. on May 9 would be the Amari Rincome Hotel.  After a self-indulgent breakfast and a strong cup of coffee in the hotel, the scene as the 2009 Amari Rally begins could be well worth watching!  The rally itself, taking place on a well-chosen route between the hotel and the Angkhang Nature Resort some 3 hours’ drive from the city, will involve between 70 and 100 contestants with their vehicles and an overnight stay at the resort.  Contestants are promised fascinating and fun diversions, games, and ‘tricks and turns’ along the route … keeping everyone on the ball, but allowing enough time to enjoy the spectacular scenery.  To find out more, or to apply to take part, (go on, we dare you!), please visit, call the hotel on 053-221-130, or email on [email protected]  The rally is organised by the Royal Project Foundation, the Amari Rincome, and the resort, which is part of the Royal Angkhang Research Station.
May – August. ArtSpace on 7.
Moms and Dads …if your children, (aged 1-8), have a birthday coming up, ArtSpace’s Mister Bradley, (for 5 years one of New York City’s favourite children’s music entertainers), is now offering his ‘Musical Birthday Party Jam’ at a 33% discount for parents whose children are enrolled at Prem, CMIS, Nakorn Payap or APIS international schoolsHe will also throw in a free copy of his Kosmic Lullaby CD, a 20-track instrumental CD, with classical melodies by Bach, Mozart, Hayden, and Brahms, perfect for naptime and relaxation.
Let the dancing, singing, goofiness, and complete silliness make your child’s summer birthday a memorable occasion!  For more details, please contact Bradley on [email protected]

Heart to Heart  with Hillary

Hi Hillary,
I went to Thailand and met the most wonderful bar girl and I was her first customer. I stayed with her for 14 days. She had just arrived and spoke little English. We communicated via sign language and communicated easy. Finer points a little hard but we did well. The lady was not travelled and the most beautiful girl. I set up a bank account before I left and agreed to get her a nice room, pay for her to learn English, sent money to mumma and sent money for her children. Well now I know what Thai fever is like. It can break your heart and your pocket.
Months of beautiful e/mails, phone calls and all the crap from friends for sending money.
Well I went back to see her and I did not know the same girl. She was living like a queen and I was living like a Thai boy! I wish I had read the Thailand guru article first.
I probably don’t feel angry...may be I gave some Thai children something they have not had for a while. I am a good heart and have been bitten by many Aussie girls. Just that I really believed with her tears all she told me and I trusted.
The money I sent her destroyed this beautiful girl because when you’re away they learn all the ropes from the working girls as to how to get more from the falang.
When I went back my girl had bought land with the brother, travelled with the children, took mumma to Chiang Mai, visited every town in Thailand. When I went back I did not recognize her. She drank in her room, went to the beauty salon and knew everyone in town. We are the falang...not sure if this means sugar daddy...but I told her I was just a working boy. I do love her to pieces but unfortunately they try to extort your heart with work the bar and other ideas they come up with. I told her to do what she has to do if she think like this. I not send the money so you don’t work the bar, I sent it to help your mumma and the children.
They simply don’t understand us and pick up from the other girls. I paid her visa, bank deposit for her to come to Australia, paid the passport she can’t come because I have to pay her brother for the time she is away.
I know what Thai fever is, it’s a merry go round of heart ache. So now I go back again and play the the baht and not the heart. Many lovely people in this country...and I now have met another with a heart ...and not need the baht... It cost me a small fortune in a short time but may be I can claim it on my tax.
Learn the ropes before you go as they are waiting for us. With no regrets.
John, Melbourne

Dear John from Melbourne,
At first I thought you were pulling my leg, but after re-reading (and correcting spelling and grammar - don’t they teach you English in Australia?) I have decided you are genuine, and have learned the hard way the difference between being the hunter and being the hunted. However, you are not the first, nor will you be the last. The savvy young ladies from the bar will run rings around inexperienced young visitors.
So did any good come out of the liaison? Yes, the young lady learned some English. Mumma got to see Chiang Mai, a lovely part of Thailand. She now owns some land with her “brother”. Yes John, I doubt very much that the man is her brother. He is more likely to be her husband, I am afraid, my Petal. And you bought her a passport. By the way, just having a passport is not enough to guarantee her entry to Australia (or the UK, America or Europe), there is a small matter of an entry visa, and having a 14 day holiday together is not considered a permanent relationship by the embassies.
You are still trying to excuse her behavior, by saying “when you’re away they learn all the ropes from the working girls,” ignoring the fact that she was already a working girl herself when you first met her. She knew the ropes long before the young lad from Melbourne appeared on the scene.
John, you will get over the disappointment, and your bank account will recover too. Enjoy your holidays, but keep a tight grip on your emotions. The vast majority of working girls do not make good long term mates, as they are looking for ATMs, not a husband.

Dear Hillary,
Mad buffaloes? Why does it seem that every year around Songkran there is a severe outbreak of mad buffalo sickness? This often spreads to the mothers of my favorite bar girls as they need money to go to their aid. My friend, Charlie of BAE, has helped send many girls home but why hasn’t the government stopped this outbreak?
Jerry Sabaii

Dear Jerry Sabaii,
Because the government has other red diseases it is trying to stop, as a matter of priority.

Camera Class:  by Harry Flashman

A project in progress

Pattaya Bay 1991

We live in an ever-changing world. Some people may say it is progress as old buildings are knocked down to make way for an expressway, while others may not agree. However, no matter which way your opinion slants, you do not have to wear a colored shirt, and the subject makes for a great photo project.
The great thing about this project is that not only does it make you ‘work’ to produce a particular image, but the final images are eminently marketable. Interested? You could even make money out of this!
All you have to do with this project is to show the progress that has occurred in any area - particularly the region that you live in - for example, Bangkok, Chiang Mai or Pattaya! The concept is simple - contrast a “now” shot with what was there before. Sounds too easy? Well, it is not quite that easy! There are a couple of snags.
Probably one of the hardest aspects is getting the “before” or “then” shots in the first place. This will take some scrounging around, particularly in this region of the world, where not much stock was placed upon the particular moment in time. Buddhism tells you that all of life is change - so why get excited about recording the moment.
However, one of the greatest sources of the “then” images are postcards - particularly tourist market postcards. These were generally of reasonable photographic quality and depicted the subject from a good angle.
So where are they? This is where you begin asking all the Thai people you know if they have any old photographs or postcards. After that, look in second hand shops, the dusty back corners of old Chinese chemist shops, funny old stores in Naklua - anywhere. But you do have to get these images first. Remember that you can always have photographs copied these days and you do not need the negatives. So all you have to do is borrow, if you cannot beg or steal! Do not worry about image quality, by the way, because no one expects old photographs to be pristine, in fact a little bit of fading and staining looks good in the final result, particularly the sepia tints.
Next part of the project is to find the original area that was photographed and work out from where the shot was taken. The concept is to get as close as possible to the original, so that the difference between the “then” and “now” is just the progress. This does mean looking critically at the original and working out if it was taken by a wide angle lens or whatever. If the shot is more than 50 years old, it was probably taken with a “normal” 50 mm lens, so try that first and look critically through your own viewfinder, while looking at the original as the reference.
Of course, some will be easy, like Pattaya Bay taken from the Naval Lookout at the top of Pratamnak Hill. Others, like the Nipa Lodge will be harder - just what angle did they take it from? It is also good to try and duplicate the time of day. Late afternoon or morning? Look at the shadows and you can work it out!
Now having done all your homework, go out and re-take all those shots from yesteryear. Again, be very critical with yourself. You do want to be able to see that this is a re-take of the original. Near enough is not good enough. Some pictures may be too confusing if there are no landmarks and you will have to reject some of them, unfortunately, but you will score some gold!
These new ones are worth having printed as at least 10"x8" and mounted side by side with the faded originals. This is what makes them so interesting (and so saleable)! You also have the choice of leaving the originals as small prints beside the new enlargement, or blowing the old ones up to 10"x8" as well, which is what I recommend. Believe me, these will sell! Everyone wants to show “life as it was” - it’s up to you to do it first!

Money Matters:  Paul Gambles MBMG International Ltd.

How safe is your money?

According to the lyric, “Sorry seems to be the hardest word”. When Bernie Taupin wrote that, he probably had not encountered all the leaders of the global banking fraternity who now seem to have been having embarrassing public contests as to who could appear the most contrite which, although stomach wrenching, is a lot less costly than their equally public competitions to destroy shareholder value:

The winner is … well it’s hard to say who because, frankly, it might not yet even be half-time in this ugly and destructive game. Whether or not they have said sorry, it is difficult to trust any bank with your life savings at the rate that big and small banks are disappearing. The above does not take into account such monumental banking failures as Northern Rock, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns or HBoS.
‘Sorry’ may be the hardest word for some people but actually it may be that trust is the most important. This is a 5 letter word just like sorry and one that also has several shades of meaning. The original form of ‘trust’ was seemingly enacted by a mediaeval knight, heading for death, glory or a combination of both in The Crusades. The ‘Trust’ placed the safe-keeping of all that was most valuable to him to his most loyal friend. Apocryphally, this may have included the keys to his lady’s chastity belt giving rise to spurious tales of what the best friend and Lady may have conspired to do while the Knight was away. Apocryphal or not, that does raise the question, “Just who can you trust?” And that question is every bit as relevant in today’s financial markets as it was a thousand years ago on horseback.
What kind of person should manage your money? An ideal profile might take into account the following issues:

* Experience - An elderly ‘eminence grise’ would perhaps make any of us feel more secure than a ‘young buck’! Experience, reliability and dependability tend to be equated with age.
* Character - Someone whose personality is both warm and yet calm and thoroughly professional would usually give the right impression.
* Qualifications - You might see someone who satisfied the most stringent professional qualifications and reached highest levels of public office and ideally could also point to a long, distinguished record of achievement and awards.
* Background - It is human nature that we all feel more comfortable with someone who seems to share our beliefs and values, especially religious or political. An ideal figure of trust might be a paragon of the same church or religion as yourself and who is also much admired for charitable work and donations
So a mature, experienced, successful, well regulated, highly respected, pillar of society, feted by the religious community, with impeccable credentials and a widely recognised record of achievement.
Congratulations! You just selected Bernie Madoff to manage your investment account!
While that might sound facetious, it highlights how difficult the selection process can be for investors when deciding who to trust or not. Investors may have applied many of the most suitable due diligence processes and still ended up making a bad call. This pretty well explains the anger of investors at the alleged fraud perpetrated by Madoff and the seeming dereliction of duty by regulators.
How could that still go wrong after asking so many of the right questions? Unfortunately, it neglected the key question, and one that too few investors might think of asking: “Whose hands are on my money and what can be done to stop them cheating me?”
If Madoff investors had asked that then they might have realized the level of trust they were placing in the respectable friendly, grey-haired pillar of society. And they may have thought twice about it. Brokerage houses, as an investment platform, can find themselves compromised because of conflict of interest; the same people who manage your funds also hold your funds and report on your funds.
When the offshore investment industry was established jurisdictions, such as Guernsey, realized the need to provide higher standards of investment security than the likes of Wall Street if they were going to be able to complete. If you are a newcomer to an established market you have to be better, sometimes much better, than the established players or else clients will not decide to use you.
Typical structures in such jurisdictions generally separate handling the funds by interposing a custodian whose sole responsibility is to keep the funds separate and secure. As well as a platform custodian, Guernsey regulated investment funds also require their own custodian as well to keep individual fund managers at arm’s length from the funds they manage. The manager can only instruct an administrator to buy or sell acceptable assets; the administrator, in turn, instructs the custodian. The custodian details all documentation, every step of the way, and this is audited or verified frequently (usually daily or weekly depending on the dealing frequency of the fund) by the administrator. Each party has a key note to play in ensuring that every other party can only ‘keep honest!’
You should ‘Never say Never’, but this kind of structure would prevent any conceivable kind of fraud or abuse. Also, it is underwritten by professional indemnity insurances in case it does go wrong AND, because of the use of custodial trusts, the ownership of the investment remains at all times with the investor. If any link in the chain fails, the money is still there.
An adviser, a platform provider an administrator and a fund manger can never touch the funds. They are simply not in a position to do so. If they were to go out of business, the ownership of the assets remains with the investor and is ring-fenced.
The custodians and the administrator co-operate to hold the assets in a separate trust for each investor and they cross check and verify these constantly. There is no conceivable scope for fraud AND the ownership of the asset remains with the investor at all times.
You should still choose an advisor, a platform, a custodian, an administrator and a fund manager that you can trust but you should also be secure in the knowledge that the structure and process remove any element of risk and temptation. What is more, indemnity protection means that the assets are additionally insured against loss of this kind.
You could say that an insurance on top of a protective trust on top of a secure platform on top of another protective trust is overkill but it is much better to be safe than sorry!

The above data and research was compiled from sources believed to be reliable. However, neither MBMG International Ltd nor its officers can accept any liability for any errors or omissions in the above article nor bear any responsibility for any losses achieved as a result of any actions taken or not taken as a consequence of reading the above article. For more information please contact Paul Gambles on [email protected]

Let's Go To The Movies:  by Mark Gernpy

Hotel for Dogs, promised for this week, has entirely disappeared, with no trace of it in posters or listings.  Vista has confirmed May 7 for the opening of this year’s Oscar best picture Slumdog Millionaire.  I think this is quite a coup for Vista.

Now playing in Chiang Mai

The Haunting in Connecticut:  US, Horror/ Thriller – A classic haunted-house film, technically proficient, well acted, with an alarming score, creepy photography, and a great house.  A family moves into a house where the bad deeds of previous tenants have left a foul psychic residue.  Peter Cornwell’s film has plenty of effective scares, but it is also a moving family drama featuring an impressive performance by Virginia Madsen.  Generally negative reviews.

Khan Kluay 2:  Thai, Animation/ Adventure – The legendary elephant is back in action in this superb sequel to the animated movie Khan Kluay.  Brilliant, beautiful animation that looks 3D though really only 2D, with an engrossing story, set in the time of Ayuthaya, when Khan Kluay is appointed King Naresuan’s royal elephant.  I especially admired the animators’ skill in the opening sequences, as the camera swoops through forests and jungles, and the beautiful final images while Khan Kluay was “dead” awaiting his children to return him to life.  It’s much more assured than the first Khan Kluay, and the animation skills are now really quite advanced.  There are some truly scary parts in the film, as there should be in all good children’s tales, involving death and destruction.  But what can you do?  In a bitter and vicious battle between two warring tribes vowing death to the vanquished, it’s difficult to make things look pretty.

Knowing: Australia/ US, Drama/ Thriller – Delightful!  And a lot of fun, in a gloomy sort of way.  A teacher opens a time capsule that has been dug up at his son’s elementary school; in it are some chilling predictions – some that have already occurred and others that are about to – that lead him to believe his family plays a role in the events to come.  Starring Nicolas Cage.  Mixed or average reviews.

Race to Witch Mountain: US, Adventure/ Fantasy – A perfectly acceptable and innocuous action film for children (mostly) with all the standard chills and thrills, chase-movie suspense, and wisecracking humor – and a few slam-bang action setpieces.  Well done of its type, and the ex-Rock Dwayne Johnson is (mostly) charming as a cabbie who protects two children with paranormal powers from the clutches of an evil organization that’s up to no good.  Mixed or average reviews.

Monsters vs. Aliens:  US, Animation/ Sci-Fi – Has gotten some rave reviews from a number of reviewers, and some highly critical.  I found it half imaginative and amusing, half irritating – the really irritating part being Reese Witherspoon’s shrill voice and creepy character.  Mixed or average reviews.

Rahtree Reborn:  Thai, Horror/ Romance – A rather amateurish half comedy, half laughably inept horror film, starring Love of Siam heartthrob Mario Maurer, experimenting in a different movie genre, one hopes for the last time.  The striking posters are truly much better than the film.

Crank: High Voltage:  US, Action – The indestructible hopped-up hitman Chev Chelios is played to the hilt once again by Jason Statham, picking up where the first film left off - except this time, he’s chasing a Chinese gangster who hijacked his heart and substituted it with a mechanical one that needs to be jolted regularly with an electric charge to stay pumping.  Rated R in the US for frenetic strong bloody violence throughout, crude and graphic sexual content, nudity, and pervasive language.  Mixed or average reviews.

Fast & Furious 4: US, Action – Vin Diesel and Paul Walker re-team for the ultimate chapter of this film franchise built on speed and cars.  It’s almost entirely about car races and car crashes, and it’s a profoundly silly movie!  Mixed or average reviews.

Sassy Player / Taew Nak Te Teen Rabert:  Thai, Comedy/ Drama – A gay teen soccer comedy.  It’s fun. Directed by Poj Arnon (Bangkok Love Story).

Looking ahead

Apr 29 - X-Men Origins: Wolverine:  US/ New Zealand/ Australia, Action/ Fantasy/ Sci-Fi/ Thriller – Marvel Enterprises, following hard upon the highly successful reemergence of their comic book franchises in 2008 with Iron Man, starring Robert Downey Jr., and then a month later The Incredible Hulk, with Edward Norton, has topped them both with their latest, Wolverine, starring Hugh Jackman.  I think it a superb action film for anyone who likes the genre, with excellent performances by Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, and many others.

May 7 - Slumdog Millionaire: US/UK, Crime/ Drama/ Romance – Breathless, exciting, heartbreaking but exhilarating at the same time, this film won Oscar best picture and best director – and awards for adapted screenplay, original score, film editing, original song, sound mixing, and cinematography.  Rated R in the US for some violence, disturbing images, and language.  Reviews: Universal acclaim.  At Vista only.


The ‘Golden Shower’ Tree

All around the moat at Songkran we get showered with water, while overhead, many trees are showing their own shower of drooping racemes which resemble a waterfall of beautiful yellow blossoms. The tree is Cassia fistula, or Indian Laburnum, one of the showiest trees in the tropical world.
The great horticultural exhibition which took place in honour of HM the King’s 80th birthday was centred around one of these trees, planted in isolation on top of a mound at the entrance. The exhibition was named ‘Ratchapruek,’ the Thai name for the tree which eminently represents HM the King’s glorious royal and religious colour – yellow.
Held in such high esteem, Cassia fistula was planted everywhere around the city. The few which have survived will be a suitable reminder for years to come of this great event in the history of Thai Royalty.

Tip of the week
Together with the glorious yellow flowers, you will find last year’s long, decorative seed pods, which take an entire year to develop and are filled with a sweet pulp which is much loved by animals and birds, who use it as a purgative. The red, ceramic-like seed can be grown, producing young trees. What prettier sight could there be than an avenue or driveway lined with the result of raising these lovely trees yourself from a pod?

Bridge in Paradise : by Neil Robinson

This hand was played in the Sunday duplicate game in Chiang Mai. Kob Cavin of Switzerland and Thailand, John Bucher, very recently returned from Seattle, and Dennis Hudson were at the table. No one was vulnerable and South dealt. This was the bidding:

South   West      North     East
P           P              1D        1H
P           1S            3D          P
3N        All pass                

Imagine you are sitting West, with the hand below. You have the awkward task of leading. Given the above bidding, what is your opening lead?

S: A8743
H: 84
D: 862
C: A92 

Do you believe that South actually has the stoppers in both majors that he should have for his 3N bid (South is known for risky bids)? Do you lead your partner’s suit? Or your own suit? Or dummy’s suit? Or the unbid suit? The fate of the hand depends on the opening lead, so decide what you would do before looking at the full deal below.

                        S: KJ
                        H: 5
                        D: AKQJ109
                        C: J865      
S: A8743                            S: Q105
H: 84                                  H: A10973
D: 862                                D: 3
C: A92                               C: Q1043
                        S: 962
                        H: KQJ62
                        D: 754
                        C: K7         

At the table the two of clubs, the unbid suit, was led. The lead was ducked in dummy and the ten of clubs taken with the king in hand. Declarer then crossed to board with a diamond and led the singleton heart. East correctly went up with the ace (otherwise, declarer makes a heart trick to go with a spade – with the right guess – a club and six diamonds for the contract). East then led a low club back to West’s ace. West now switched to a diamond to pin the lead in dummy. Declarer led the eight of clubs from dummy, hoping that whoever held the queen would go up with it, or that it would fall. East did rise with the queen. He was reluctant to lead from the queen of spades into the king jack on board, so he led a second heart. Now declarer has the rest of the tricks – winning six diamonds, three high hearts and the first club trick for an over trick.
If you can see all four hands, it is not difficult to see how to defeat the contract. At the table however, defence is difficult, primarily because of the difficulty of working out what South has for his bid. The opening club lead did not work out well (although the contract could still have been defeated). An opening heart lead followed by a heart continuation (which is what South was hoping for) works out even worse and concedes the contract quickly. An opening spade lead probably dooms the contract. However, the best opening lead may be the least obvious – dummy’s strong suit, diamonds. Declarer has no entries to hand and is likely to be stuck on board and limited to seven tricks – six diamonds and eventually a spade. What lead did you choose?

Chiang Mai now has an official bridge club – the Bridge Club of Chiang Mai. We welcome new players. For information on the Club please contact Chris Hedges at: [email protected] If you have bridge questions, or to send me your interesting hands, please contact me at: [email protected] I look forward to meeting you at the bridge table.