29 APRIL 1989, Page 29

. . . but I prefer reading

Mark Amory

BRIDGE: TRICKS OF THE TRADE by Terence Reese and David Bird Gollanez, £8.95, pp.144 Reading about bridge has several advantages over playing it: no waiting, no cross partners, you do not lose money, you can stop when you want to, it can be done in the bath, every hand has a point. Best of all, you can visit above your station, at least appreciate the skill of others. This hand, for instance, from one of the most enjoyable of recent bridge books, has an elegance I could never aspire to: Glance at the diagram below, where South plays in six spades. East's king of spades is not worth the cardboard it's printed on, surely you agree. How can declarer possibly go wrong? East found a clever way to ensnare him when the deal arose in a European championship.

Game all Dealer South

• Q 9 5 7A

O K 7 5 • A Q 10 7 4 2 • 7 6 2

• K4 'c7 10 8 7 5 3


C9 J 9 6 2 oQ 9

6 2

0 10 8 4 3


4. K 8 6

• A J 10 8 3

K Q 4

O A J • J 9 5 South West North East

1* No 2# No 2 NT No 3# No 40 No 6# End West led 3 clubs and declarer rose with dummy's ace. East, who could tell his partner's lead was a singleton, dropped the king on this trick. A trump finesse was dangerous for declarer now. If the finesse lost, it seemed certain that East would ruff the club return. Declarer tried queen of spades from dummy, but when the 4 came from East he rose with the ace and played a second round. East won with the king and gave his partner a club ruff — one of the most cunning defences on record.