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WEST had every reason to regret his double of South's game contract on this deal. It led declarer to play for a bad trump break from the outset when, with no double, he would have been sure to go down.

South opened Two No-trumps and North responded Three Hearts - a transfer to spades. After the dutiful rebid of Three Spades, North offered a choice of games with Three No-trumps, but with his good spades, South naturally preferred Four Spades. West could not believe his luck and unwisely doubled before leading the king of hearts.

Declarer won and, having formed the impression that West held all the outstanding trumps, ruffed a heart in dummy and followed by driving out the ace of diamonds. West exited with a diamond but declarer won, ruffed his last heart, and cashed a third round of diamonds before playing on clubs.

West trumped the third club and still had a safe heart exit, conceding a useless ruff and discard, but, after winning, South quietly got off lead with a low trump. West had to win and, on lead, concede the last two tricks to South's ace and queen of trumps.

And without the double? Declarer would surely have tried one round of trumps after which there would have been no recovery.

Game all: dealer South


] 8 7 5 4 3

_ 5

+ Q J 9 6

[ Q J 3

West East

] K J 10 9 ] None

_ K Q J 4 _ 8 7 6 3 2

+ A 7 3 + 5 4 2

[ 9 8 [ 7 6 54 2


] A Q 6 2

_ A 10 9

+ K 10 8

[ A K 10