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It is said that a husband-wife combination does not work out well in bridge. T.T Chari and his wife Lakshmi Chari are an exception to this, as they give a good account of themselves when they play together. Watch them in action in the deal below from a match-point event where they earned a well-deserved top by their good bidding followed by excellent play by the better half.
Contract: 4H by south. West leads the H8 to the four, three, and the jack. Plan the play.
Bidding comment: The Michaels’ cue-bid showed five spades and an unspecified five-card minor. As it forces partner to choose at the three level, this should show an opening hand. South was justified in bidding the game, for she knew she could play the hand on a cross-ruff.
Play: Declarer played a club to the ace and ruffed a club. She then crossed to the DA, east following with the jack. She ruffed one more club now and ruffed a diamond in dummy next. The last seven-card position was:
Declarer played the C7 from dummy and ruffed it with the HK, west discarding the DK. When she played the third diamond from hand, west ruffed with the HT. Lakshmi Chari simply discarded the spade loser from dummy and claimed an over trick. The full deal is:
Discussion: Bidding was exceptional. Though the SQ is wasted in her hand, south bid the game because of the nine-card fit in hearts in the combined hands.
It was a thoughtful lead by west to start with a trump.
Declarer played the hand very well to keep the DA intact in dummy so as to use it as entry to ruff the club.
When west ruffed the third diamond with the HT, declare was careful not to over ruff as it would have promoted the HQ to a trick. Discarding the spade was a loser-on-loser play. You will agree it was a neat counter.