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The Independent Culture
THERE ARE a number of cardinal principles to be observed when cutting a weak partner of whom even his best friends admit that accurate dealing is the strongest part of his game. 1) Keep things simple. 2) Do not put partner into difficult contracts. 3) Get the rubber over with as quickly and cheaply as possible.

Well, North (in such a position) got the first right but failed on the other two. South opened One Diamond, West pre-empted with Three Spades, and North (closing his eyes) jumped to Six Diamonds. All passed and West chose 23 for his opening lead, hoping to establish a trick in the suit while still holding trump control.

Declarer won with the queen and started on trumps. It was no good: West won and, with safe exit cards in both major suits, eventually came to a club trick to defeat the contract.

It had all been too difficult for poor South who now went on to lose yet another rubber. Yet he could have taken advantage of West's sporting lead if he had played him for the distribution that he actually held, 7-2-1-3, with his singleton diamond being the ace.

Perhaps his partner might have found the winning line of cashing 4A and !A,K before leading a trump, but it certainly proved beyond South. You can see what the position would have been: West, on lead, would have had the choice between conceding a ruff and discard or leading a fatal second club.