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Bridge in Paradise: by Neil Robinson

This bridge puzzle comes from Eddie Kantar, the well-known bridge author. West dealt:

Imagine you are sitting South. When the bidding comes round to you, you can hardly bid any less than four spades, in view of the fact that you have nine tricks in your own hand. Surely partner will be able to contribute one trick—or will he? The ace of diamonds is led, followed by the king. East shows out on the second diamond. Before reading on, decide on your plan for making the contract.
The obvious plan is to ruff the second diamond, draw trumps, cash the ace and king of hearts and lead to the king of clubs, hoping that West has the ace. No good—East takes the king with the ace and you lose three clubs and a diamond. So what play works?
The first important thing is to keep the two of trumps! Ruff the second diamond with the seven and draw three rounds of trump, noting the singleton in West’s hand and leaving one trump outstanding with East. Now cash the ace and king of hearts and lead the two of trumps. East is forced to win. You are giving up a trump trick but East is end played and is forced to give you two tricks in return. A heart lead will give you two heart tricks, the ten and queen. With a club lead the defence can take the ace of clubs, but no matter which hand it is in, you can now get to board with the king and can then cash the good queen of hearts for the tenth trick. The moral is to hold on to your lowest trump when you have a long trump suit—you never know when it might come in handy!
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 website

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Bridge in Paradise