Bridge

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Love all; dealer South

North

4A K

!K 10 7

#A 8 4 3

2J 9 7 4

West East

4Q J 9 7 48 6 5 3 2

!Q 6 5 3 !J 4 2

#K J 5 #7 6

25 2 210 6 3

South

410 4

!A 9 8

#Q 10 9 2

2A K Q 8

"There was no way I could have known!" is an all too frequent cry at the bridge table. Usually there was some clue overlooked, but occasionally a player must guess. Put yourself as West on this deal.

South opened One Diamond; North bid Two No-trumps (agreeing diamonds and forcing to game). They ended in Six Diamonds.

West led the queen of spades and declarer could see that, owing to the unlucky duplication of distribution, the position in both red suits was delicate. One possibility was to try to pin a singleton jack of trumps in East's hand, another was to hope that West held the singleton king.

Without giving up the second chance, South came to hand with a club and led the two of diamonds. West, expecting dummy's ace to be played (after which he has two trump tricks), played low and a finesse of the eight won. After both opponents followed to the ace of trumps, South played off all his black suit winners and exited with a trump. West got off lead with the queen of hearts - his best chance - but declarer guessed the suit correctly.

West could have defeated the contract by playing his jack on the first round of trumps. Then, when in with the king, he has a safe trump exit.Would you have got that one right? Be honest. The play of the jack could be fatal if, for example, East held the singleton ten.

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