Ottawa Citizen

BRIDGE

- DAVE WIL­LIS

De­clarer topped the nine with the jack and ducked a spade. West switched to the ten of di­a­monds but South cashed three di­a­monds dis­card­ing spades from the dummy, crossed to the ace of spades and fol­lowed with ace, king and a third heart. West scored the queen but had been re­duced to clubs. He elected to re­turn a de­cep­tive queen but de­clarer ducked and rode the exit of the six to the jack, N-S +400

De­clarer will face a more for­mi­da­ble task when West be­gins with the ten of di­a­monds or per­haps the king of spades. North’s pat­tern had been re­vealed in the auc­tion as 5,4,1,3 or per­haps 5,4,0,4 leav­ing South with no alternativ­e but to ad­vance to the nine-trick game.

N-S held a com­bined 26 HCP but the fit was poor in­deed. There were only seven top tricks and South would need to de­velop tricks in a ma­jor suit. He could be cer­tain that hearts were di­vid­ing 4-2 but a 4-2 spade di­vi­sion could also be an­tic­i­pated. De­clarer was cer­tainly for­tu­nate to find West with a hand from which there was no es­cape. The throw-in yielded a ninth win­ner be­cause West held ex­actly three di­a­monds, a dou­ble­ton spade and the king & queen of clubs.

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