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Six spades was a perfectly sensible contract on this deal - either of the finesses in trumps or hearts might be enough, and there were still excellent chances with both wrong after West had not found the most damaging lead. Declarer, however, having been let off the hook, fell into a simple trap. North opened a conventional Two Clubs and South gave a positive response of Two Spades. Three Hearts - Three Spades; Four Diamonds was a natural continuation and eventually South ended in Six Spades. (Yes, 6NT played by North would have been the ideal contract, but this was difficult to judge.)

A heart lead would have ended South's chances but, not unnaturally, West led the queen of clubs. After winning on the table, declarer led and ran the queen of trumps. Thinking quickly, West decided that the only real chance was to pin the lead in dummy and, without hesitation, he allowed the queen to win. Perhaps dreaming of an overtrick, declarer repeated the trump finesse. West took his king and switched to a heart. Now there was no way back to hand to draw the last trump and South was reduced to the losing heart finesse to go one down.

Rather than finesse again in trumps, South should have gone up with the ace on the second round. As the cards lie there is an unexpected bonus but it does not matter if East can later win with the king. Either he gives South an entry to hand to draw the last trump, or the need for a heart finesse is obviated.

GAME ALL: Dealer North


] Q 9

_ A Q J 10 9

+ A K Q 7 5

[ A

West East

] K 2 ] 7 4 3

_ 8 6 4 2 _ K 5

+ 4 3 + J 8 6

[ Q J 10 9 3 [ 8 6 5 4 2


] A J 10 8 6 5

_ 7 3

+ 10 9 2

[ K 7