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THERE were some interesting twists in the play of this deal. East made a good try to defeat Four Spades, but it was not quite good enough. The trouble had arisen because of a slight imprecision by his partner earlier in the hand.

North passed and East opened One Heart. Perhaps not trusting his partner to judge matters accurately if he adopted a more scientific approach (double, followed by a single jump in spades, suggests itself), South bounded unsoundly to Four Spades and all passed.

West led the nine of hearts and, after winning with his king, East switched to the queen of diamonds. South won and led a low spade. West looked at this for a while but, as his queen was still safe and it was conceivable that his partner held a singleton honour in the suit, he played low. (With the advantage of seeing all four hands, it is clear that winning with the queen and returning a diamond leaves declarer without any hope.)

When the ten of spades won, South ruffed a heart back to hand and cashed his two top trumps, leaving West with the queen. Then came a club to the ten. If East wins this, declarer can throw his losing diamond on the 13th club, so East did well to allow the ten of clubs to win.

Now South tried another tack - he ruffed another heart in hand and exited with his last trump. Whether West led a heart or a diamond, declarer had another exit card with his losing diamond, and in the two-card ending East was forced to lead away from his king of clubs.


S. 10

H. Q 7 6 5

D. 7 6 5 3

C. Q 10 8 7


S. A K J 8 7 6

H. J

D. A K 8

C. A 6 2


S. Q 4 3 2

H. 9 8 3 2

D. 4 2

C. J 9 5


S. 9 5

H. A K 10 4

D. Q J 10 9

C. K 4 3