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AN INSPIRED play by declarer lured East into an apparently obvious play which, however, proved disastrous. I say inspired, for I find it difficult to believe that South foresaw the consequences of his seemingly motiveless play.

South opened One Club, West overcalled with One Diamond, and North raised to Three Clubs. Not unreasonably South essayed Three No- trumps but West fought on with Four Hearts and this was followed by two passes.

A double would have collected a certain plus score but, hoping for something better, South went on to Five Clubs. East decided to double this, feeling that North-South were out of their depth, and all passed.

West got off to the lead of the ace and another heart and, after winning in dummy, South took stock. Prospects looked hopeless - the king of diamonds was surely with West and East must have the ace of spades (what else could he have for his double?). Declarer's play to the third trick defied all logic - he led a low spade from dummy]

Put yourself in East's position - how could declarer play like this without the queen of spades? So he went in with his ace and returned a diamond for what he hoped would be the setting trick(s). It was a disaster - South took his ace, drew trumps, and discarded his losing diamond on the jack of spades.