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South made a wild bid on this deal and had the good fortune to find one important missing card in dummy. His play, however, was on a par with his bidding and, overlooking a vital point, he went down in his slam.

West opened One Heart and East raised to Two Hearts, leaving South with a problem. A cue-bid in the enemy suit was one possibility, a straightforward jump to Four Spades another. Our hero tackled matters differently. Arguing that he could never find out scientifically if his partner held the right cards, he jumped to Six Spades!

West led the !A and, after ruffing, declarer crossed to dummy with a club and led the two of trumps. The appearance of the five from East did not help very much and, after some thought, he guessed wrongly and tried the jack, thus losing two trump tricks.

Once East had followed with the five, there were only three distributions in the trump suit that would allow declarer to succeed. Only if West holds A-8, Q-8 or Q while East has Q-5, A-5 or A-8-5 can South restrict his trump losers to one.

As you can see, playing the king works twice as often as playing the jack. Yes, I know that West had opened the bidding, but there were quite enough high cards outstanding for him to have done so without holding the ace of spades.