Bridge - The Scotsman, 29/04/13

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SCOTLAND had good fortune on this deal from the Lady Milne. The Irish West brushed aside Sam Punch’s weak jump overcall and kept bidding in spite of partner’s attempts to sign off.

South led her fourth highest heart. Declarer might run this to her nine, losing to the queen and setting up a finesse position for a spade discard. She might establish spades for two clubs discards by ruffing. But there are not enough entries to dummy to make this a very promising line – if North has three trump she can ruff the third heart to prevent the discard.

Declarer preferred to rely on the spade finesse. She won the ace of hearts and drew two rounds of trump ending in hand. The queen of spades scored, and a spade to the jack dropped the ten. This was the position:

Declarer attempted to cash the ace of spades, but North ruffed. Declarer overruffed and tried a heart, but South did not fall for that, she ducked to North’s queen. North returned a club, and declarer had to lose a second trick. If spades had been 3-3 declarer would make all 13 tricks, but there was no need to be greedy. All that was required was to ruff a spade with the queen of diamonds, then cross to the jack of diamonds, drawing the last trump, to make two spades tricks and her slam.