Royal Oak Tribune

Bridge

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This is another deal from the Chinese Premier League. What happened in four spades doubled after West started with two rounds of hearts?

This auction was unpredicta­ble, but it ended in the normal spot. West’s two-diamond response showed a good single heart raise. Three notrump was ... supply your own adjective!

Every other declarer hoped to find clubs 3-3 and went down one.

At this table, South was Zhu Chenyu, a member of the Chinese under-26 team. He analyzed the auction. East rated not to have a singleton for his three-no-trump rebid. Also, missing so many high- card points, a sevencard heart suit was likely. Zhu felt that East’s hand distributi­on was 2=7=2=2.

After ruffing the second heart, Zhu drew one round of trumps, then ducked a diamond. East returned his second diamond, taken by declarer. Now South cashed his club ace, and East failed to sacrifice his queen. Declarer cashed the spade king and now should have stuck to his guns by leading a low club from his hand, which would have endplayed East. He would have been forced to lead a heart, conceding a ruffand-sluff, on which declarer would have discarded his club loser. It also would have made life hard for West if he had the club queen-10. He would have had to put up his queen to swallow East’s jack, a crocodile coup.

South actually played a trump to dummy, giving East a second chance to disown the club queen. When he threw a heart, South led a club and ducked when East played the queen.

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