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Bridge in Paradise: by Neil Robinson

Sometimes three no trump is an easier game to make than four of a major, even when you do have an eight card fit. The hand this week, played in a match in Chiang Mai, is an example. It was the last deal of the match and North-South were behind and needed a game to pull ahead. This accounts for the somewhat optimistic bidding. Both sides were vulnerable and South dealt. This was the bidding:

North invited to game in hearts with a 3H bid. South accepted the invitation, but offered an alternative game, 3N. Since West has bid clubs, South’s bid does of course promise a stopper in this suit. North spent some time considering the alternatives. With his good heart suit and good cards in spades and diamonds (see below), he wisely passed, thinking nine tricks might be easier to make than ten. The full deal is shown below:

West led the jack of clubs, which was ducked all round (it does not help the defence if East overtakes). Now, West needs to find the right switch. The only switch that defeats the contract is a spade, but West has little information to go on. Eventually, he led a low diamond, hoping to find his partner with the queen and fool declarer into playing the jack. However, the defence is now dead. Declarer forced out the ace of diamonds and then took three diamond tricks, five heart tricks and the ace of spades, to make the contract. Note that 4H goes down, losing one spade, one diamond and two club tricks—3N is the only contract that has a chance.
I would like to hear from readers about their favourite hands—please do contact me at [email protected] Bridge Club of Chiang Mai welcomes all players. We have members from seventeen different countries already. For information on the Club go to the web site

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Bridge in Paradise