13 NOVEMBER 1999, Page 80


Right & wrong

Andrew Robson

IN THE final match of each Thursday night's Teams event at my bridge club, the competitors play six interesting hands churned out by a computer program. I write a short analysis of each hand which is distributed to each player at the conclusion of the evening. This week's hand attracted the comment '440 makes on 4A lead, and 34 makes on any defence'. Christopher Clark, an accurate player and analyst, chal- lenged me on both my assertions.

Dealer South North-South Vulnerable

The Bidding South West North East 14 pass 24 pass

pass double 34 pass (4•)

pass pass

Christopher claimed that 4* (by East) would fail provided the defence switched to Vs after cashing 4A. Say South cashes VA at trick two and continues with 4J. Declar- er wins dummy's VK, crosses to *A, and leads 4K, 49 to 40 and tries 4A. North trumps with +8 and declarer overtrumps with 4.1. He trumps 49, trumps 44, trumps 410 and leads the established +6, discard- ing his IP loser as South trumps with 4K. So 4+ does make (unless South leads Vs before cashing 4A).

But Christopher had the last laugh in the post-mortem analysis — and indeed at the table. He was defending 34 with his part- ner, Richard Pollitzer. Richard led +7 to Christopher's +A and Christopher switched unerringly to OK. He continued with +9 to Richard's 40 and Richard fol- lowed by leading 42. Declarer could not now avoid a trump loser however he manoeuvred. He actually chose to trump with dummy's 4J, East discarding. He cashed 4AK, revealing that East had a trump trick with 410, and was left to rely on the V finesse for his contract. He cashed •K and ruffled his fourth 4 in dummy. East overruffed with 410 and switched to V 8. Declarer played low, lost to VK, and conceded down one.