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Bridge 11/14

Game for both sides -- or is it?

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Posted: November 13, 2006 4:36 p.m.
Updated: November 21, 2006 5:00 a.m.
A recent read of New Zealand Bridge unearthed this deal, which was played in 1975 during a match between Auckland and Canterbury. At one table, West was in four hearts doubled; at the other, South was in four spades doubled. What do you think happened at each? Can four spades be defeated?
    At the first table, South for Auckland opened three spades, West overcalled four hearts, and North doubled.
    North led the club ace and continued with the club king. West ruffed and played five rounds of hearts. North, thinking that his partner had the spade ace, exited with the club queen. But this permitted declarer to claim 10 tricks (three spades and seven hearts) for plus 790. The writer made no comment about South's discards. Surely his first was discouraging in spades. But maybe North was not watching, believing everything was under control.
    In the auction given, South for Canterbury passed. West opened four clubs, Namyats, showing a strong four-heart opening. North doubled to announce values in clubs, and South bid four spades. East, thinking they could beat this, doubled.
    West led a top heart, of course. Declarer ruffed and played the spade jack. However the defenders turned, South could hold his losers to three top trumps. That was another 790 to Canterbury and a gain of 17 international match points in a double doubled-game swing.
    To defeat four spades, West must lead his club, win the first trump with his ace, and play a heart. East ruffs high and returns a club for West to ruff.
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