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SOUTH was the first to congratulate West on his smart defence on this deal. Not only did West make the right play but - an even more difficult task for some players - he refrained from pointing out how declarer could (and should) have made his contract.

South opened One Diamond, North raised to Two Diamonds, and South rebid Three No-trumps to end the auction. West led the king of clubs and East followed with the two, suggesting three cards in the suit.

Declarer held off for one round, but was forced to win the club continuation. It was clear that he needed the diamond finesse to be right in order to make his contract, so at trick 3 he crossed to dummy's queen of spades and finessed the queen of diamonds. This won, but it came as a nasty blow when West showed out.

The only hope of gaining the two further entries to dummy that were needed to pick up East's diamonds lay in the spade suit, so declarer continued with the seven of spades from hand. If West had played low, the plan was to finesse dummy's ten and later overtake the king with the ace. West thwarted this idea by playing the jack of spades on the seven. Now, with only one entry to the table, South had to concede a diamond, and the defenders took three more club tricks to defeat the contract.

The point South missed was that if he could make five diamond tricks he needed only two spade tricks, not three. He should have led the king of spades at trick 3 and overtaken it with the ace. A successful diamond finesse follows and, when it becomes apparent two more entries are required, the ten of spades can be finessed.

Game all; dealer South


S A Q 10

H J 5 3

D 7 6 4 2

C 8 5 3


S J 9 6 3

H 10 9 6 2

D none

C K Q J 10 4


S 8 5 2

H K Q 8

D K 10 8 5

C 9 7 2


S K 7 4

H A 7 4

D A Q J 9 3

C A 6