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BRIDGE



Published: Wed, February 2, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Both vulnerable. East deals.

NORTH

x 3

u A Q J 8

v K 8

w A K 10 6 3 2

WEST EAST

x K 10 9 7 5 u Q 8 6 4

u 9 6 u 10 7 4 2

v A Q v 10 7 6 5 3

w Q J 9 8 w Void

SOUTH

x A J 2

u K 5 3

v J 9 4 2

w 7 5 4

The bidding:

EAST SOUTH WEST NORTH

Pass Pass 1S Dbl

3x 3NT Pass Pass

Pass

Opening lead: Ten of x

The International Bridge Press Association has announced its bridge awards for 2004. Winner of the C & amp; R Motors prize for the best-played hand is this deal featuring former world champion Cezary Balicki of Poland, reported by Canada's Eric Kokish.

No bidding was given, but this is a likely auction. East's jump to three spades over the takeout double was pre-emptive, and South had too much to keep silent. No bid other than three no trump suggests itself.

West led the ten of spades, covered by the queen and won with the ace. South, Balicki, started on clubs by leading low to the king since he could not afford to let East gain the lead. When East discarded a diamond, the contract appeared to be hopeless. Declarer demonstrated this was not the case.

The ace and king of hearts were cashed and a low club was led. West inserted the queen and he was allowed to hold the trick. The defender did not relish being on lead. Since a black-suit return would allow declarer to romp home, West tried the ace and queen of diamonds. That simply delayed the inevitable. Since West had to hold onto two clubs, when declarer cashed dummy's winning hearts, West was forced to come down to two spades and two clubs.

Balicki cashed the ace of clubs and threw West in with a club. West could take the king of spades, but had to surrender the fulfilling trick to South's jack. In all, South scored two spade tricks, four hearts, a diamond and two clubs.

& copy; 2005 Tribune Media Services




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