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Bridge in Paradise: by Neil Robinson

This board came from a Bridge Club of Chiang Mai pairs game. East-West were vulnerable and North dealt.

Most tables ended up in two or three hearts by South, making nine tricks. My table was an exception—I had the South hand and played it in two hearts, but good defence gave me no chance of an overtrick. West led the ace of spades, followed by the three. I took East’s queen with my king and led a heart to try and pull trumps. West went up with the ace immediately and switched to a diamond. East’s jack won and he led another spade, trumped by West. The ace of diamonds completed the defence’s five tricks (ace of spades, ace of hearts, spade ruff and two high diamonds).

But, EW can do better. Can you see their best contract? It is 3N by East. Assume you get a heart lead. Declarer ducks until the third round. Declarer then forces out the ace of clubs (and breathes a sigh of relief when North wins the trick and has no more hearts to return). North’s best lead at this point is a spade. However, declarer wins the ace and successfully finesses the diamonds. EW make the aces of hearts and spades, three high diamonds and four clubs for nine tricks and the contract. Only one pair managed to find this optimum contract—well done for excellent bidding.

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