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'ON BOARD 4 we scored 990 points]' claimed one pair at comparison time. 'Unfortunately, we lost 1,150,' commented their team-mates ruefully. It was clearly a matter for investigation, and this proved to be the full deal.

At both tables East opened One No-trump (15- 17 points) and after two passes North bid Two Hearts. One South raised to Four Hearts and, for no good reason, West doubled.

The defenders could have held declarer to 10 tricks by starting with three rounds of spades, but East switched to a club at trick 2 and declarer subsequently finessed in trumps to collect an overtrick.

The other South, instead of raising hearts, tried Three No-trumps, and again West doubled, arguing that his side held at least half the points in the pack. The lead was the five of diamonds, and declarer won East's king with his ace, crossed to the king of clubs and ran the jack of clubs successfully.

Then he turned his attention to hearts and finessed the jack. Now, with both critical suits behaving kindly, he has no fewer than 11 tricks.

Did you spot East's expensive mistake? Suppose he had covered the jack of clubs with his queen. Nothing is promoted but, after declarer has won with his ace, he no longer has the entries to dummy he needs to finesse in hearts and enter dummy again. It would have saved four tricks]

It is amusing to note that if the two and three of clubs had been interchanged, declarer would have had the extra entry that he needed.


S. 6 4 2

H. K 9 6 5 3 2

D. none

C. K J 10 2


S. 8 5

H. A J

D. A 10 9 3 2

C. A 8 7 3


S. Q 10 7 3

H. 7 4

D. Q J 8 7 5

C. 9 6


S. A K J 9

H. Q 10 8

D. K 7 6

C. Q 5 4