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Today's hand arose in the finals of the Danish Teams Championship. Klaus Adamsen was declarer in Four Spades.

If trumps break 3-2, two rounds are drawn, the outside aces and kings cashed, then the minor suit losers are crossruffed. In the fullness of time, the defence comes to two hearts and one trump trick.

However, when West led the jack of spades, Adamsen sensed this was a singleton, and was less sanguine about his chances. All was not lost, so South won the lead in hand, played a diamond to the king, another to the ace, then ruffed a third diamond in hand.

When West failed either to follow to the third diamond or to ruff, the 4-1 trump break was confirmed. Next came a club to the king and a ruff of dummy's last diamond. The ace of clubs and ace of hearts were cashed, bringing declarer's trick tally to eight. Two more tricks were therefore needed from this end position: South: 48, 9106, 287. West: 9KJ8, 2J9. North: 4K105, 995. East: 4Q94, 9Q, 3Q.

Hoping for the best, South got off play with a heart, and West did well to rise with his king, swallowing partner's queen - the Crocodile Coup. Had he not, East would have been on lead and endplayed either into presenting declarer with a ruff and discard, or playing round into North's trump holding. West cashed the heart jack, but whatever was played next would be trumped low in dummy. East could overruff, but was then endplayed. A well-played, and equally well-defended, hand.

East-West game; dealer South


4 A K 10 5

9 9 5 3

3 A 10 5 4

2 K 10


4 8 7 6 2

9 A 10 6

3 K 3

2 A 8 7 5


4 Q 9 4 3

9 Q 2

3 Q J 8 7 6

2 Q 3


4 J

9 K J 8 7 4

3 9 2

2 J 9 6 4 2