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The defenders appreciated the danger of dummy's diamond suit on this deal. They made a good try to remove an entry to dummy before South was ready to use it but they overlooked a possible counter by declarer.

Playing five card majors, South opened ]A and West overcalled with _2. North raised to ]2, East contested with _3 and South made a "pressure" bid by jumping to game. (It might be a good contract but East-West would have to make their final decision at an uncomfortably high level.) West got it right by passing (_5 would have cost 500 points) and led _A against ]4, East encouraging with his 9. The idea was to force dummy to ruff and so shout out the diamond suit.

In tune with his partner's idea, West continued with _K and declarer, realising that he might be in trouble if he ruffed on the table and found the missing trumps to be 3-1, discarded a club from dummy. West switched to a trump and South drew just two rounds with his +K. Then he forced out the +A, won the club return with his ace, and entered dummy with ]Q to draw the last trump and enjoy his established diamonds.

West was right to continue hearts and trick 2 but a low heart would have been better than the king. Now if declarer throws a club from dummy, it will be East who wins the trick with his _Q after which he will be able to attack clubs while still holding the +A. Indeed, if West does lead a low heart, South will be forced to ruff on the table and hope to find the trumps 2-2 - and that would have brought him no joy.

EAST-WEST GAME: dealer East


] Q 3 2

_ 6

+ Q 10 9 3

[ 8 6 5 2

West East

] 4 ] 10 8 5

_ A K J 8 5 4 _ Q 9 7 3

+ 8 5 4 + A 7 6

[ K 10 4 [ J 9 3


] A K J 9 7 6

_ 10 2

+ J 2

[ A Q 7