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APART FROM exciting bidding, this deal from matchplay provided a good test of timing, and the correct solution was found at only one of the two tables.

In one room a fiercely competitive auction saw South end in Six Hearts after his opponents had bid up to Five Spades. As it was East who had first bid spades, the defenders would have collected only 800 points if East-West had decided to sacrifice.

The save proved unnecessary, however. After the lead of a top diamond, declarer ruffed in hand and immediately trumped a losing spade on the table. This proved a mistake for now there was no way to avoid losing both a trump and a spade and so the slam failed.

At the other table, Fred Hamilton of the US opened One Heart with the South cards, West overcalled with One Spade and North made the practical response of Two Clubs. East's raise to only Two Spades may strike you as feeble, but he would have had to bid at least Six Spades to keep Fred quiet, for his next bid was Six Hearts! As both opponents seemed to have some defence, this was passed out.

Again West led a top diamond against the slam, and, after ruffing, Fred showed the class that had led him to two World Championships. At trick two he simply led a low trump to dummy's 10! Now declarer was in complete control and the safe 12 tricks meant a substantial gain for the Hamilton team.

Love all; dealer South



!10 4

#J 8 7 5 3

2A K J 6 3 2

West East

4Q J 10 9 7 4A 8 5 4 2

!5 !K 3 2

#A K Q 10 2 #9 6 4

210 5 28 7


4K 6 3

!A Q J 9 8 7 6


2Q 9 4