Bridge - The Scotsman 03/05/13

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Bridge can be a tough game. On this deal from the match against Northern Ireland Scotland’s Lady Milne team bid to 7S. North’s two-over-one promised at least 10 points, so the jump rebid made the auction game-forcing.

4H was a cuebid, and South asked for key cards. 5S showed two aces plus the queen of spades. South’s 5NT told partner that all the controls were present and asked her to cue bid a king. The king of clubs meant that South could count 12 sure tricks;a thirteenth would appear if North had the queen of hearts; or a fifth club, allowing the suit to be ruffed out; or if there was a squeeze; failing all of which, there was the diamond finesse. Diane Greenwood led a spade, and dummy was slightly disappointing – no queen of hearts, no fifth club – but the jack of clubs gave an extra chance that someone might hold Qxx. Declarer drew trump and played king, ace and ruffed a club, then ran her trump in case there was a squeeze. But East had length in the rounded suits and discarded after dummy, so the squeeze failed, as did the diamond finesse. One down cost 14 imps when the Irish stopped safely in 6S. The Boards was flat in 7S-1 in the match between England and Ireland, but the Scottish Bridge Union had a stroke of luck against Wales. The Welsh North-South stopped in 6S, but Veronica Guy and Laura Middleton bid 7S. Veronica found an extra chance when the Welsh West led a diamond!