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FACED WITH what had the air of an 800- point penalty, South found a curiously simple deceptive play. West should have paid more attention to the cards played by his partner and less to those chosen by declarer.

South opened One Club, North responded One Diamond, and East overcalled with Two Spades (weak). Perhaps Three Clubs would have been more prudent, but South jumped to 3NT and stood his ground when West decided to double.

West led ]7 and prospects for declarer did not look good. It seemed sure that the missing minor suit honours were shared between the defenders in some way, so even if West held both [A and [K East would have the diamond ace. The spades would surely be established before South could get his clubs going.

Declarer held off the first round and won the spade continuation. Then he created a neat diversion by cashing the king of hearts before starting on clubs. The fact that South had played the king of hearts , then abandoned the suit, created the impression in West's mind that his partner held the ace. When in with [K he led his last spade (on which East played the two) and then, when he got in with [A he led a heart to his partner's imagined ace. Now South rapidly cashed his winners to score an overtrick.

West overlooked his partner's signal. If East had wanted a heart, he would have played ]J rather than ]2 on the third round of the suit to suggest an entry to the higher ranking suit.

NORTH-SOUTH GAME: dealer South


] 6

_ Q J 6 5

+ Q 10 8 5 2

[ J 7 3

West East

] 7 5 4 ] Q J 10 9 8 2

_ 4 3 2 _ 10 9 8

+ 9 7 6 4 3 + A J

[ A K [ 5 2


] A K 3

_ A K 7

+ K

[ Q 10 9 8 6 4