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South made a slight error in his timing of the play on this deal. Nine times out of 10 it would not have cost but, on the actual lie of the cards, it cost his side a vulnerable game. Playing Weak Twos, North opened Two Spades and East decided to pass. Closing his eyes and hoping for the best, South bid Four Hearts and, although both West and East brooded for a little, this ended the auction.

West led the ten of clubs and, reflected South, dummy could have been a lot worse. Matters improved when East won with the king of clubs, cashed the ace and led a third round of the suit to which his partner followed. The trouble was that declarer now became over-confident. At trick four he cashed the ace of diamonds and followed with a diamond ruff on the table. Next came the jack of hearts, which East prudently did not cover, and to South's irritation the 4-0 trump break meant that he had to lose two tricks in the suit.

Although South could not really cope if West held all the missing trumps, he could have catered for the actual distribution. Instead of ruffing a diamond immediately, he should have won the third club in dummy and led HJ. If East plays low, South can play four rounds of trumps and later discard his losing diamond on the thirteenth club. Should East cover the jack of hearts, declarer wins, takes his diamond ruff, and now has only one trump loser.