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The Independent Culture
The defence was on the right track on this deal and was able to set declarer problems. He should have been able to solve them but muddled the all-important timing and went down.

Both West and North considered opening the bidding (with what I wonder?) but East started the auction with One Heart. South overcalled with One spade, West bid Two diamonds and North scientifically bid Three Hearts - showing, as explained by his partner, a high card raise to Three Spades. East doubled, but South went on to game and all passed.

West led the queen of hearts against Four Spades and East was on the ball when he overtook and returned a trump. He won the next heart lead and led another trump. Declarer won in hand, ruffed a heart, took a heart discard on the ace of diamonds, and finessed in clubs. Unlucky! The finesse failed and there was still a heart to lose.

As the cards lie, the ace of clubs at trick 5 followed by another club would have given South his tenth trick but this would have failed if East had been able to win with the king of clubs and lead a third round of trumps.

The club finesse should have been tried earlier. If it wins, no problem; if it loses, West has no more trumps to play.

The clubs can be unblocked, a heart ruffed, and the jack of clubs enjoyed for the vital winner.

Game all; dealer West


] K J 9

_ 8 5

+ A 8 6 4 3

[ Q J 7

West East

] 5 ] 8 4 2

_ Q _ A K J 10 9

+ Q 10 9 7 5 2 + K J

[ K 9 6 5 2 [ 10 8 3


] A Q 10 7 6 3

_ 7 6 4 3 2

+ none

[ A 4