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The Independent Culture
WHILE it is true that you will only make one trick with the ace of trumps, precisely when you take it makes all the difference. The timing was certainly critical on this deal.

South was hardly full value for his opening bid of One Spade and he was unable to curb North's enthusiasm until a small slam was reached. An opening heart lead would have defeated Six Spades but West chose the queen of diamonds. Declarer won and started on trumps. West held off the first round but won the second on which East signalled heavily with the jack of hearts.

The heart switch was too late - declarer won on the table and played off his remaining trumps and his other top diamond. East had to concede the twelfth trick.

Can you see a successful defence for West even after his diamond lead? He must save his ace of trumps until the third round and then play a second diamond. The effect of this is that declarer cannot conveniently come to hand after cashing the ace of hearts (for his Vienna coup). And if the ace of hearts is not cashed then East, discarding after dummy, is in no trouble with his discards.

Love all; dealer South


] AK Q 5

_ A 7 6 3

+ 8 6

[ A K Q 7

West East

] A 3 2 ] 4 _ 10 8 2 _ K J 9 4

+ Q J 10 7 5 + 9 4 3 2

[ 8 5 [ J 10 4 3


] J 10 9 8 7 6

_ Q 5

+ A K

[ 9 6 2