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STARTING WITH what looked to be about eight tricks in his game contract on this deal, South found a compound end-play that ended by exerting pressure on East.

South opened One Spade and West overcalled with Four Hearts. A double by North would have earned 500 points, but this was not easy to judge and he supported his partner. West led the queen of clubs against Four Spades and, with no clear ideas yet, declarer held off and won the club continuation.

Matters brightened slightly when, after cashing the ace of trumps, declarer finessed successfully in diamonds. Next came the ace of diamonds and a diamond ruff; then, assuming that West had started with a seven-card heart suit, declarer exited with the king of hearts. West followed up by taking his ace and cashing the queen, but then had to concede a ruff and discard with another heart lead.

Dummy discarded the jack of clubs and now East found himself under pressure in three suits - one of them trumps! If he parted with a club, a club ruffed high in dummy would establish South's six, and, if he threw a diamond, dummy's eight would be good. After some thought, he decided to trump - but now South over-trumped and had the rest of the tricks on a cross-ruff. This was a curious ending, not easily visualised, and South did extremely well to get matters right.

LOVE ALL: dealer South


] K 7 5 3

_ 10 2

+ A Q 8 6

[ J 8 3

West East

] 9 ] 8 4 2

_ A Q J 8 6 5 4 _ 9 7

+ K 9 4 + J 10 5 2

[ Q 4 [ K 10 9 7


] A Q J 10 6

_ K 3

+ 7 3

[ A 6 5 2