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IT IS quite surprising to consider all the variations in both bidding and play on what appears to be a simple hand. This deal, from the recent inaugural Pan-American Championships, is a case in point.

Game all; Dealer North


6 4

K J 10 9 6 4 3


J 9 2



A 8 2

Q 6 2

A Q 10 7 4 3


9 5

7 5

A K 10 9 8 7

8 6 5


A K Q J 10 8 3 2


J 5 4


In one match North pre-empted in hearts and South jumped to Four Spades to end the auction. West led the two of diamonds and, after winning, East switched to a trump. This was not good enough, for when West got in with his ace of hearts he had no second trump to play. As a result, declarer ruffed one losing diamond in dummy and threw another on the king of hearts to end with 10 tricks.

At another table, North passed and East opened a weak Two Diamonds. South bid Four Spades, but was pushed to Five when West contested with Five Diamonds (a contract that East can always make, with careful play). The defence followed the same course, but now the 10 tricks cost South 100 points.

It is worth noting that, even after the diamond lead, East can do better. It looked natural enough to shift to trumps at trick 2, but try the effect of a second diamond. Dummy ruffs, but when West gets in with the ace of hearts he leads a trump. South still makes just one diamond ruff on the table, but can no longer come to a heart trick and must settle for nine tricks.

The best defence, this time against Five Spades doubled, was in the women's event. West led the ace of clubs, switched to a trump (on which East played low]), won the heart lead and put East in with a diamond for another trump lead. This netted 800 points.