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"WE MAY have under-cooked this one!" commented South after inspecting dummy on this deal. Playing five card majors he had opened One Spade and, after an overcall of Two Diamonds by West, heard his partner splinter with Four Clubs (showing a club shortage and agreeing spades as trumps). He cue-bid Four Diamonds and North replied with Four Hearts. Over South's next effort of Five Clubs, his partner showed second round control in hearts with a repeat cue bid and South jumped to Six Spades.

West led #A against the slam, after which South made his ill-starred remark. He ruffed with 47 and followed with 4A to discover the bad break. "But don't worry, partner - we haven't!"

He continued with 4J in order to keep control. West took his queen and shrewdly switched to his singleton heart.

Suddenly South found himself in trouble. He needed another diamond ruff in hand for his 12th trick but after winning the heart on the table and duly trumping a diamond, he could draw only one of the remaining two trumps. Dummy's 49 would have done, but South's attempt to reach the table with a second round of hearts found West able to ruff for the setting trick and the slam failed.

In fact declarer had missed a not too difficult precaution. He should have ruffed the opening lead with 410, not 47! The play goes as before but the difference is that South is left with 47 as his last trump and can overtake in dummy to extract West's last trump and complete his dummy reversal.

East-West game; dealer South


49 8 5 3

!A K Q J 7

#J 10 4


West East

4Q 6 4 2 4none

!3 !10 9 5 2

#A K Q 9 6 5 #8 7 3 2

2Q 10 2J 9 6 3 2


4A K J 10 7

!8 6 4


2A K 8 5 4