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IT IS ODD how some hands stick in your mind - if not all the spot cards, at least the comments afterwards. Some 40 years ago I was dummy on this deal, partnered by an elderly Austrian gentleman, Herr Katz.

He opened One Heart with the South hand, I responded Two Clubs, and he reversed with Two Spades. I rebid my clubs and he ended the auction with a very practical jump to Four Hearts.

West led a top diamond, inspected dummy and his partner's encouraging hand closely, and could see nothing better than to continue the suit. This was not a success, for declarer ruffed, forced out the king of hearts and, after drawing the remaining trumps, ran the clubs to end with 11 tricks.

"There's more than one way to kill cats than by choking with cream!" said East, laughing immoderately. Herr Katz, whose grasp of English (especially misquoted proverbs) was limited, scowled but brightened up when we added up the rubber ("Mit vun hundred for honours, partner!").

What was East's point? It was clear to all that declarer had good, long trumps and that dummy's club suit was a menace. Rather than try for tricks elsewhere, the long suit could have been cut off. Suppose West switches to a club at trick 2 and leads another when he is in with the king of trumps? Dummy is dead and declarer restricted to nine tricks. It is surprising how often this type of defence is overlooked ...

GAME ALL: dealer South


] 6 3 2

_ 4

+ J 7 4

[ A K Q 5 4 3

West East

] Q 10 9 4 ] 7 5

_ K 7 3 2 _ 8 5

+ A K 9 + Q 10 8 5 3 2

[ 10 8 [ J 9 7


] A K J 8

_ A Q J 10 9 6

+ 6

[ 6 2