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'YOU SHOULD be pleased with me,' said South to his partner at the end of the deal below. As they had just gone down in a vulnerable game that could and should have been made, North awaited an explanation. 'I usually make about three bad errors per session,' South continued, 'and today I fitted them all in one hand]'

South found a way of avoiding the obvious contract of Three No- trumps and ended in the more delicate Five Clubs, against which West led the queen of hearts.

Declarer won in hand, cashed the ace of trumps, and studied the fall of East's queen. He then led a second trump and went up unsuccessfully with dummy's king. Then he tried a spade to the king but, when West won this with his ace, he was able to draw a third round of trumps. Eventually South lost a second trick in spades to go one off.

What went wrong? First, it looks better to play just one round of trumps, to the king, then start on spades. Next, as it went, declarer should have finessed the ten of trumps on the second round. If it does lose to the jack, the missing trumps will have divided 2-2 and there will be two left on the table to look after the losing spades.

Finally, ifSouth was determined to play against the odds in the trump suit, he should have taken the precaution of cashing his other top heart first. Then, after misguessing in trumps, he can ruff a heart in hand, cross to a top diamond, and ruff another heart. As it does not help West to over- ruff, there is now time to trump a diamond in hand as well, and this play leads to 11 tricks.