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WHEN THIS hand occurred locally, South easily made his 3 No-trumps contract after the lead of the two of hearts, ten from dummy, king from East and ace from declarer. South next cashed the king and ace of clubs and played another club to West's queen. Even after the diamond switch, the contract was in no danger. South won and led a heart. West took his queen, and the defence cashed two diamonds, but now declarer was in control, with the jack of hearts providing his entry to the long clubs.

I was reminded of a similar hand when the bidding had also proceeded 1 No-trumps (15-17) by South, 3 No-trumps from North.

Britain's Nicola Smith and Pat Davies, one of the world's top women's pairs, were the defenders. Pat led the two of hearts, dummy played the ten and Nicola played low! Playing fourth highest leads, she knew that Pat had only a four-card suit, therefore declarer had three. Her singleton club gave her hope that the suit might not be breaking kindly for declarer, and she needed to deny declarer an entry to dummy with the jack of hearts.

True, Pat's lead could conceivably have been from A Q X 2, but Nicola felt that this was unlikely, especially as the bidding had given no indication that a heart lead was vital.

After dummy's ten of hearts held the trick, declarer played a small club to the king and another towards dummy. Time passed, but eventually the ace was played and the contract was defeated.

Game all;

dealer South



!J 10 3

#8 2

2A J 10 9 8 6 3

West East

4K 8 6 4J 9 7 5 2

!Q 9 6 2 !K 8 5

#K 7 4 #Q J 5 3

2Q 7 2 24


4A Q 10 4

!A 7 4

#A 10 9 6

2K 5