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DECLARER faced a curious problem in the trump suit on the deal below. With KJ986 facing A75, the normal play would be the ace followed by a finesse of the jack. But how do you play the suit if you are sure that the queen lies over the jack?

After East passed, South opened One Heart and, as this showed a five-card suit, the final contract was Four Hearts. West led the nine of spades to the ten and jack, and declarer ruffed the third round of the suit.

As you can see, the normal percentage play in the trump suit would have lost to the doubleton queen and, with an inescapable club loser, the contract would have failed. Before tackling the trumps, however, declarer embarked on an interesting 'discovery' play. He cashed the ace of clubs and followed with a second club. East took his king and led a third round of the suit.

After ruffing in hand, South finally turned his attention to the hearts. Now he had an important clue - East had passed as dealer and yet had turned up with the ace, king and jack of spades and the king of clubs. Clearly West held the queen of trumps. Of course, if West had been the defender with the king of clubs, South would have played trumps normally, but now he led the jack from hand, planning to run it if not covered.

West played his queen, however, and, after the ace of hearts had won, the next trump lead found East following with the three. It was possible, of course, that West had started with the Q10 doubleton, but declarer took his final good decision when he decided to play East for the missing ten, and finessed the nine of trumps to land his contract.