bridge

The Western Star - - LIFE -

East hopped with the ace to re­turn an­other di­a­mond for the king. South led a heart to the king fol­lowed by an­other for the ace on which West showed out. A spade loser was in­evitable and East was en­ti­tled to the trump queen but ten tricks were home, N-S +620.

There was no par­tic­u­lar rea­son for South to fi­nesse East for the queen of hearts but he was re­stricted to the con­tract by play­ing trump from the top. The early play dis­closed that West surely held five diamonds mak­ing East a slight fa­vorite to hold the heart queen. If South knew that diamonds di­vided 6-2, then East be­comes a strong can­di­date to own the trump queen be­cause he holds eleven empty spa­ces to West's seven.

North's ar­ti­fi­cial re­sponse func­tioned as a Ber­gen raise re­veal­ing four-card heart sup­port but less than a limit raise. South then ad­vanced to the ma­jor suit game con­fi­dent of a nine-card fit.

Some play­ers would open 1NT with the South hand but this ac­tion would not al­ter the fi­nal con­tract. North would em­ploy Stay­man to un­cover the heart fit and the ma­jor suit game would be reached when North of­fers an in­vi­ta­tion by rais­ing to three hearts.

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