China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFE -

Moliere, a 17th-cen­tury French play­wright, said, “Of all the noises known to man, opera is the most ex­pen­sive.”

Nowa­days, I would guess that the most pricey is a Broad­way mu­si­cal, which would be ap­pro­pri­ate be­cause this deal was played sev­eral years ago dur­ing a du­pli­cate in New York City.

How should South play in three no-trump af­ter West leads the spade queen?

North and South were lucky that they had 4-4 fits in the mi­nors. With the bad splits in each of those suits, if one had been a ma­jor, four of that ma­jor would have failed. Three no-trump, though, was mak­able with care­ful play.

De­clarer be­gan with six top tricks: two spades and four di­a­monds. Most play­ers in the du­pli­cate looked no fur­ther than tak­ing three club tricks. If they won the first trick in the dummy, they played a club to the king and a club back to the jack. But East took that trick and re­turned a spade. Those who won trick one in hand and played a club to the jack suf­fered the same fate, end­ing down one.

The care­ful play­ers spot­ted an avoid­ance play. Af­ter win­ning trick one on the board and play­ing a club to the king, they crossed to the dummy with a di­a­mond and led an­other low club.

If East took that trick, South had two spades, four di­a­monds and three clubs. Most Easts ducked again. Now, af­ter win­ning with the club queen, de­clarer played a heart to dummy's queen to guar­an­tee at least two spades, one heart, four di­a­monds and two clubs.

Then the noise was North con­grat­u­lat­ing his part­ner.

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