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IT IS certainly true that, when you know where most of the outstanding points lie, you can often make 3 No-trumps with fewer values than are usually needed.

Following this principle, North-South pushed to a thin game on this deal and got home after dozy play on West's part.

West opened One Spade and, after two passes, South bid Two Diamonds. West persisted with Two Spades and, stretching somewhat, North tried Three Spades.

Not to be outdone, South bid 3 No-trumps against which West led 4A. After studying dummy, he switched to 24 which went to the three, nine and jack.

Declarer played off #K and #A, then led 2Q from the table. East covered, South won, and West parted with a low heart. Next, declarer played off two more winning diamonds and West discarded two more low hearts.

Before cashing the last diamond, South led !9 and let West hold the trick with his now bare king.

With nothing but spades left, West continued with the ace and another. Now, after cashing the last diamond, South simply played a club. At his stage dummy held !A C7. If East had saved two clubs, he would have to give declarer the last trick; if he had saved a heart, !A was brought back to life.

There were two points to note - declarer cut himself off from !A but it did not matter and - more significantly - West should have discarded !K at an early stage (if South held !Q, this was a useless card and a liability).