The Asian Age



Teaching inexperien­ced bridge players is a haphazard occupation. It is good to see their progress, but they are extraordin­ary at finding strange twists in deals that look so straightfo­rward to the more experience­d eye.

I received an unexpected surprise from this deal.

In the auction, despite West's overcall, North's three-spade response was a game-invitation­al limit raise. South plowed on to game.

West leads the diamond king. The first point is that East should play the jack. Unless this is from shortage, it guarantees holding the 10 as well. True, here there is some chance of East's having a singleton or doubleton diamond, but it's not likely. Declarer, wishing to avoid a heart lead from East, should duck his ace. South wins the diamond continuati­on, enters dummy with a club and takes a spade finesse. In a moment, he draws the last trump, discards a heart loser on the fourth club and makes his game.

If South wins trick one with the diamond ace, he should go down. When West gets in with the spade king, he underleads his diamond queen to East's 10. Now the heart queen through declarer generates four tricks for the defense.

Both these possibilit­ies occurred in my class. However, at one table South introduced a variation I hadn't considered. After winning trick one with the diamond ace, she


led a hand.

West, thinking his partner must have the spade ace, played low. Suddenly no spade loser, suddenly an overtrick! Out of the hands ... Copyright United Feature Syndicate (Asia Features) low spade from

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