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The Independent Culture
THE fate of South's Four Spade Contract was in the balance on this deal. It could have been defeated by a different (if distinctly imaginative) lead but, after a more helpful opening, declarer mistimed the play and still went down.

South opened One Club, North responded One Heart and raised South's rebid of One Spade to Three. South went on to game and West decided to lead a low trump against Four Spades. (Yes, the jack of diamonds would have been a spectacular success.)

Declarer won in dummy and led a second trump which he won with the ace after finding the bad news. He started with four rounds of clubs but could only discard one diamond from dummy before West ruffed low. Now, although the heart finesse was right, there was no way to avoid the loss of either two trumps and two diamonds or a trump and three diamonds.

Try the effect of the heart finesse (necessary sooner or later) before the fourth club. The heart ace is cashed, a heart ruffed in hand and now, finally, the fourth club is led. As before, West ruffs low and is over- ruffed but now the last heart is trumped with declarer's jack. West can over-ruff but the remaining trump in dummy is declarer's tenth trick.