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SPAIN is a country in which (dare I say it?) male chauvinism persists. Which explains why my wife, playing with Lady Ghislaine Foley, was so delighted with their result on this deal against a leading male partnership in a recent pairs event in Marbella.


S. K Q J 8

H. 10 8 6 4

D. A 7 3

C. 8 4


S. 9 7 6 5 3

H. A K 5

D. A Q 5

C. 10 7


S. 4

H. Q J

D. 10 8 6 2

C. A K Q 6 5 3


S. A 10 2

H. 9 7 3 2

D. J 9 4

C. J 9 2

South opened One Spade, West overcalled with Three Clubs and North (feeling Three Spades might have sounded merely competitive) raised to Four Spades to end the auction.

West started with the ace and king of clubs and - wait for it] - Lady Ghislaine petered heavily with the nine and the two, suggesting a doubleton. A third top club left South with a messy problem. It looked as though he had a heart loser (who could imagine the queen and jack were doubleton?) and after deep thought, he ruffed with a high trump in dummy.

To everyone's surprise, East followed with the jack of clubs, and declarer's 'losing' heart went away. It did not matter what happened next; in the fullness of time East came to two trump tricks and the contract was defeated.

As 10 tricks were made at every other table, (even if the game had not been reached) the resultant 150 points for East-West represented a top and triggered off an excitable post- mortem.

Should you happen to be there, the Marbella Club is staging a new congress at the Don Pepe Hotel, 1 January to 5 January. Inquiries to Des Deery, the celebrated Irish international, on 010 34 52 820 669.