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"I WAS lazy there!" South was quick to admit after going down in Three Spades on this deal. "But I had 100 for honours!" Yes, more careful counting would certainly have helped him.

South opened One Spade, North responded 1NT, and East decided to pass rather than overcall - he hoped to defend against 1NT. It was not to be, for South bid Two Spades. Now East entered with Three Diamonds and South's next bid of Three Spades was passed out.

West led +10 against Three Spades and, after taking two diamonds, East brooded. The king and another club would have been best, but looked dangerous, and so he led a third top diamond. With no useful discard, declarer ruffed high and tried to use dummy's ace of hearts. He cashed the ace of trumps, unblocked with the king and queen of hearts, and crossed to the 10 of spades. No joy, for East ruffed the ace of hearts and was over-ruffed.

Now everything depended on the clubs. It seemed unlikely that West held both the ace and king, so declarer tried a low club and finessed dummy's nine. Still no joy, and the contract failed.

What had South overlooked? East had shown up with three spades, two hearts, and six diamonds; hence he held just two clubs. The winning play, therefore, was to lead the jack of clubs from hand, playing East for [Ax or [Kx.

NORTH-SOUTH GAME: dealer South


] 10 6

_ A 8 5 3 2

+ J 8 3

[ Q 9 4

West East

] 8 3 ] 9 4 2

_ J 10 6 4 _ 9 7

+ 10 5 + A K Q 9 6 2

[ A 8 6 3 2 [ K 10


] A K Q J 7 5

_ K Q

+ 7 4

[ J 7 5