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THIS deal featured a neat co-operative defence. It was true that declarer could have saved one trick but the position was not completely clear to him.


S. Q 6 4

H. Q J 2

D. A K 5

C. K Q J 10


S. 10 5 3

H. A 10 8 7

D. 9 8 4

C. 8 7 2


S. A J 9

H. K 6 5 4

D. J 2

C. A 6 5 3


S. K 8 7 2

D. 9 3

D. Q 10 7 6 3

C. 9 4 West opened One No-trump (12-14 points) and North doubled. East's retreat to Two Diamonds was followed by two passes and, feeling he had not done enough, North doubled again. As Two Diamonds would have made easily, South was right to bid Two Hearts and there matters rested.

West led the jack of diamonds and, after winning in dummy, declarer ran the queen of hearts. West held off but won when the trump finesse was repeated. Now his two of diamonds was won on the table and East followed with the queen - a well-judged McKenney signal, clearly showing the ten of diamonds and an important card in the highest ranking suit - spades.

Declarer now turned his attention to clubs and West won the second round. Taking full advantage of his partner's intellignt signal he switched to the jack of spades - just the right card. When the jack was allowed to win, he continued with the ace and nine of spades. East won, cashed his winning diamond, and led the thirteenth spade. This promoted a second trump trick for West and led to a two-trick defeat.

Did you spot South's tiny error? If he covers the jack of spades with dummy's queen he still loses a diamond and three spade tricks but it is West who wins the third round of spades and, with only trumps and clubs left, has to concede the rest of the tricks. Now declarer escapes for only one off.