Bridge - The Scotsman 06/02/2012

Monday’s bridge puzzle...

The Winter Foursomes is Scotland’s version of the EBU Double Elimination Teams. This year’s winners were Clive Owen, Brian Senior and Charles and Vi Outred, who have an exceptional record of success in the event. They beat Sam Punch, Tim Rees, Mike Ash and Alan Goodman in the Final. Losing semi-finalists were Brian Short, Dave Walker, Les Steel and John Matheson.

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When you have a 7-4 distribution it is often easier to play with the longer suit as trump. In the 4-4 fit you may be forced to ruff, and so be cut off from your long suit. Against this 4S contract East led the king of diamonds. Declarer won the ace and played dummy’s club – when your trump are under threat your first priority is to establish your side suit. East took the ace and played a diamond, forcing South to ruff. There was convenient way to take the spade finesse, so South played the ten of spades from hand. West ducked, so declarer cashed the ace of spades and started on clubs. When West ruffed in declarer had two entries to hand – a diamond ruff and the ace of hearts, and so made eleven tricks.

If West takes the king of spades he can remove one of South’s entries. A diamond reduces him to just one trump, but he ruffs with the ace, draws trump by overtaking his nine, and returns to the ace of hearts. A heart removes the ace - but now declarer can draw trump ending in hand.