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Bridge in Paradise: by Neil Robinson

This hand, played at six hearts by Morten Andersen in the Danish First League, was reported by Svend Northrup. It looks like the defence are bound to take a spade trick, since they have the queen, jack and ten between the two hands, as well as the ace of diamonds. There is only one entry to dummy, the king of spades, so it does not look possible to do anything with the queen and jack of clubs. However Andersen, sitting South, made the slam. Can you see how he did it? His nickname is “duck” and this may give you a clue. There was no opposition bidding and West led the jack of spades.

South, living up to his nickname, ducked the jack of spades opening lead! Reasonably enough, West continued spades. South won in hand with the ace and drew trumps in three rounds, throwing two diamonds from board. He cashed the ace of clubs and led the nine of spades to dummy’s king. Dummy’s queen of clubs was next, covered by the king and ruffed in hand. Then South led over to dummy’s carefully preserved eight of spades. Now the diamond five in hand was thrown on dummy’s good jack of clubs. Twelve tricks (seven hearts, three spades and two clubs) and slam made!

Did you work out how to do it? And if you had been sitting West, would you have defeated the contract by switching to a diamond switch at trick two? I don’t think I would. 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