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The Independent Culture
SOUTH AVOIDED one trap on this deal but fell into another. Yes, he was unlucky, but a slight change in timing would have made all the difference.

First, the story of the events. South opened One Spade and, after a pass by West, North raised to Two Spades. This was too high for East and South's jump to game ended the auction. West led #Q against Four Spades and declarer won immediately to avoid a heart switch. His first idea was to draw trumps and play on clubs, establishing a discard for his losing heart.

So South started with 4 A and 4Q. The 3-1 trump break was a minor irritant for, if he drew the last trump and followed with the ace and another club, his only quick entry to dummy would be with a fourth round of trumps. Then he would run out of trumps before he could establish his 10th trick from the diamonds.

Accordingly South played the ace and another club before drawing the last trump. The idea was good, but West won with his king and led a third round of clubs for East to kill dummy's winner with his last trump. South over-ruffed but he now had to lose two diamonds and a heart as well as 2 K.

The best play, perhaps not so obvious, was to lead 210 (not 2A) on the first round of the suit. West wins but cannot prevent South from playing off his 2A and crossing to dummy with a trump to take his heart discard on 2Q. Then there would have been time for declarer to bring in a long diamond as well.

East-West game;

dealer South


4K 10 8 6

!7 4

#10 8 6 2

2Q J 7

West East

45 4J 3 2

!J 9 3 !K Q 8 6 5 2

#Q J 5 #K 4

2K 9 8 6 5 4 23 2


4A Q 9 7 4

!A 10

#A 9 7 3

2A 10