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FACED with what had the air of an 800-point penalty, South found a curiously simple deceptive play and succeeded in throwing the defence off balance. Of course, West should have paid more attention to the cards played by his partner and less to those chosen by declarer, but these things happen ...

South opened One Club, North responded One Diamond, and East overcalled with Two Spades (weak). Perhaps Three Clubs would have been more prudent, if conservative, but with his double guard in spades, South jumped to 3NT and stood his ground when West decided to double.

West led ]7 against 3NT doubled and prospects for declarer did not look good. In view of West's double and East's overcall, it seemed sure that the missing minor suit honours were shared between the defenders in some way, so even if West held both [A and [K East would have the diamond ace. The spades would surely be established before South could get his clubs going.

Declarer held off the first round and won the spade continuation. Then he created a diversion by cashing the king of hearts be- fore starting on clubs. South's playing the king of hearts and then abandoning the suit suggested to West that his partner held the ace. When in with [K he led his last spade (on which East played the two). Then, when he got in with [A, he led a heart to his partner's imagined ace. Now South rapidly cashed his winners to score an overtrick.

West missed his partner's signal. If East had wanted a heart, he'd have played ]J rather than ]2 on the suit's third round to suggest an entry to the higher-ranking suit.

NORTH-SOUTH GAME: dealer South


] 6

_ Q J 6 5

+ Q 10 8 5 2

[ J 7 3

West East

] 7 5 4 ] Q J 10 9 8 2

_ 4 3 2 _ 10 9 8

+ 9 7 6 4 3 + A J

[ A K [ 5 2


] A K 3

_ A K 7

+ K

[ Q 10 9 8 6 4