THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder

New Zealand Bridge is published six times a year in a small-page format. It reports on that country’s tournaments and players in overseas competitions, but there are also instructive articles and an international bidding panel that answers six problems a month.
This deal contained an interesting piece of declarer-play technique. It occurred during the final of the NEC Cup in Yokohama, Japan, in February. Peter Newell and Martin Reid from New Zealand teamed with Sartaj Hans and Tony Nunn from Australia. In the final, they beat a Bulgarian team.
At both tables South opened one club, strong, artificial and forcing. Hans (West) showed both black suits, and Nunn (East) jumped to four spades. South understandably rebid five hearts, which ended the auction. With the given distribution, this contract had to go down one.
In the given auction, Newell (North) responded one diamond to indicate a weak hand, and East doubled to show diamonds.
Against four hearts, West led the spade king. Reid (South) won with dummy’s ace, played a heart to his ace, and led a diamond to dummy’s jack. East won with his king and returned a spade. South ruffed and cashed the club ace. What did he do next?
Cashing the club king would have been fatal, because East would have ruffed and returned his last trump (or another spade). Instead, declarer played a low club toward the 10, happy to lose one diamond, one club and one trump.
Magazine details are at www.nz bridge.org.nz.

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