Truro Daily News - - LLIFESTYLE­S -

East won the di­a­mond queen, when dummy fol­lowed low, to re­turn the four for the jack, king and ace. South con­tin­ued with a heart to the jack and cashed the ace. When the ten dropped, he ad­vanced the nine driv­ing out the king. East re­turned a di­a­mond but South swiftly cashed out nine tricks, N-S +600.

It is in­ter­est­ing to spec­u­late on how de­clarer would have con­tin­ued if the ten of hearts had not put in an ap­pear­ance. An­other heart would yield a ninth win­ner when hearts di­vide 3-3 but de­feat will be im­mi­nent when East be­gan with king-ten fourth.

West had pre­sented de­clarer with a gift by lead­ing a di­a­mond which is poi­son at match­points. He should be­gin with a fourth best spade on this auc­tion which gives de­clarer noth­ing. The good news is that South could still emerge with the game bonus be­cause the ace of clubs is on­side and the de­fense can­not break di­a­monds with­out giv­ing de­clarer a sec­ond win­ner in that suit.

North cor­rectly re­jected Stay­man with a per­fectly bal­anced hand to raise to 3NT. Even if a 4-4 heart ex­isted, 3NT was likely to be a su­pe­rior con­tract be­cause North did not own a ruff­ing value.

The same num­ber of tricks might be avail­able at NT as the po­ten­tial ma­jor suit con­tract. Au­thor: Dave Willis - visit his web­site at­side­ Ques­tions on bridge can be sent with a stamped, self-ad­dressed en­ve­lope to The New Cana­dian Bridge c/o Torstar Syn­di­ca­tion Ser­vices, One Yonge St., Toronto, M5E 1E6. Copy­right 2017 Torstar Syn­di­ca­tion Ser­vices

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