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IT looked as though declarer would have no problems at all in his contract of Two Hearts on this deal from the recent Macallan Invitation Pairs event. What could go wrong? Surely there were seven trump tricks and the ace of clubs was well placed?

East opened One Diamond and, when I was young, South would have overcalled with Two Hearts. Nowadays nearly everybody plays weak jump overcalls, so South had to start with a simple overcall of One Heart. This allowed West to show his spades at the One level but, nevertheless, South bought the contract in Two Hearts.

West led the six of diamonds and, after his two tricks in the suit, East switched to the king and another spade. The defenders later came to the ace of clubs but now it was all too late - declarer could afford to ruff a third diamond high and so come to eight tricks.

Have you spotted the winning defence? After taking his two top diamonds, East must switch to the five of spades, not the king. It does not matter too much if his partner misreads the situation for East clarifies matters by winning the spade return with his king.

Now he plays the ten of diamonds and declarer must ruff high. Dummy can be entered with the jack of hearts but declarer is on the table for the last time and must play a club. East takes his ace and now a fourth round of diamonds produces an unlikely trump trick for the defence.