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Bridge 7/21

A defense that could have cost

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    My final deal this week from Karachi occurred during the last session of the open teams final. It features a Grosvenor Gambit by Kamal Kumar Roy from India (West). This is a play so strange that the opposition can never believe what you have done. It was sent to me by the victim, Tahir Masood.
    At the other table, South played in three clubs, making exactly. In this auction, South should have passed out North's nonforcing three spades, a contract that might have been made.
    Against three no-trump, West led his heart five: 10, jack, king. Masood, the declarer, continued with a spade to dummy's queen, the spade ace and another spade to West's king. West could have defeated the contract by shifting to a club, perhaps first cashing the heart ace. South wins with his club queen, but cannot cash the club ace, because it squeezes the dummy. So declarer leads a diamond, but West rises with his king and sets up his hearts. South takes only five spades, two hearts and one club.
    Instead, at trick five, West switched to his diamond two! Declarer could have risen with dummy's queen, cashed three spades, and taken the club finesse to land nine tricks. But not believing it, Masood put in dummy's nine, took East's 10 with his jack, and played a heart toward dummy's queen. West won with his ace, cashed the two top diamonds, and exited with the club nine, ducked to South. Declarer still had to lose a club and a diamond to go down two.
    India gained seven international match points and won the match by two. (Note that three no-trump down one would have resulted in a tie.)
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