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The Independent Culture
WHEN YOUR partner in defence does not make the obvious play there are two possible explanations - either he is naturally woolly-minded or that he has a good reason. East was too impatient on this deal and wrongly assumed the first explanation was correct. West was not flattered.

North opened One Club, East passed, South responded One Spade, and North raised to Three Spades - a game call. West started the attack rather passively with the queen of diamonds and East followed with the two. A switch was clearly called for and West belatedly tried his singleton club.

At this point declarer went to sleep. If he wins with dummy's ace and draws trumps, he loses only the four tricks in the minor suits. However, he played low from dummy and East took his jack. Quite reasonably, East returned the nine of diamonds, hoping that his partner would overtake and push through another club.

But West followed suit with the three. Irritated that his partner had not followed his apparently straightforward defence, East switched to the ten of hearts and now South was able to recover from his earlier mistake and clinch the rubber. If East had trusted his partner, he would have divined the reason for him being left on lead - the failure to overtake should have indicated that West held no more clubs. A club return at this point would have given West a ruff and East still comes to his king of clubs later.