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Bridge in Paradise: by Neil Robinson

Last week was a difficult defensive play. Today it is the turn of declarer. No one was vulnerable and South dealt. This was the bidding:

Imagine you are sitting South, with the dummy and hand below. The opening lead was the queen of clubs. You have a great dummy and 30 HCP between the two hands. How do you make the contract?

At the table the ace of clubs won the first trick. A low spade was led from dummy to the queen in hand. Declarer finessed in hearts, with the queen losing to East’s king. East then led the king of clubs and another club. West ruffed with the jack, forcing the ace of hearts from dummy. The six of hearts was led and the trick was won by East’s ten, with West discarding. East now led a low spade, which dummy was forced to win with the king. You have already lost three tricks (the king and ten of hearts and the king of clubs) and cannot afford to lose any more. The situation now is shown below. What do you lead from dummy?

At the table, declarer tried to get to hand by leading a low diamond to his king. East ruffed and the contract was down. The correct lead is the ace of spades, which you trump in hand. It is critically important to get to hand to pull the last trump. You have plenty of winners in diamonds and do not need the ace of spades, so the correct play is to trump your winning ace! (If East trumps the spade first, you simply over ruff.) Now you can pull the last trump with your nine and claim the rest. Congratulations if you found the right play. The full deal is shown below:

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