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IT WOULD have been impossible for either North or South to have gone down in 3 No-trumps on this deal but, when South (playing five-card majors) opened One Heart, the lure of the 5-3 fit proved to be too much in spite of South's rebid of 2 No-trumps over North's initial response of Two Diamonds, and the final contract was Four Hearts.

West led a safe trump and declarer regarded his nine certain tricks with regret. The ace of spades might be on side or, possibly, he might be able to take advantage of a 3-3 diamond break if he could keep East out of the lead. This might be achieved by leading diamonds twice from hand, but South had a better idea.

He won the trump lead in dummy and led a low club at trick 2. He had a neat plan in mind - if East followed with a low club, he would put in the seven! West would win, but now a diamond could be discarded on 2K and a third round of diamonds ruffed high. Then, if the suit broke 3-3, he was home, and, if the suit did not behave, there was still time to try the spades.

Declarer's plan was foiled when on the first club lead East inserted the eight. It proved to be East who had a certain diamond entry and West who held 4A, so the game failed.

When congratulated on his far-sighted defence, East looked faintly puzzled. He had only played 28, he explained, in order to suggest that he held an even number of cards in the suit, in case this would help his partner...

Love all; dealer South


47 5 2

!K J 9

#A K 9 3

2K 5 3

West East

4A Q 3 4J 10 8 6

!8 6 4 !3 2

#J 8 6 #Q 10 7

2Q 10 9 6 2J 8 4 2


4K 9 4

!A Q 10 7 5

#5 4 2

2A 7