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The Independent Culture
It was one of those late-night hands - the clock suggested that all the players were expected elsewhere - and a typical argument set in. 'You could have defeated that]' claimed East. 'And if you are so clever, why didn't you?' retorted his partner. Even earlier in the evening, either would have done well to spot the winning defence.

East opened One Diamond, South overcalled with One Spade and West raised to Three Diamonds. North doubled - a dubious move - but South removed to Three Spades. West doubled (remember, North-South had a part-score) and did well to lead the queen of clubs rather than a diamond, which would have given declarer an easy run.

The defence started with four rounds of clubs, the last of which was ruffed high by declarer. Correctly, West discarded in the hope of a trump promotion, but South's trumps were too good and declarer lost only one more trick to the spade ace.

Well, what was the argument about? Suppose that, when his queen of clubs holds, West switches to a heart. He wins an early round of trumps, puts his partner in to take two more club tricks (on which he discards his remaining heart) and then can ruff a heart for the setting trick.

Yes, and East could have taken charge himself. His clubs are good enough for him to overtake the queen with his king on the first trick and switch to a heart himself. As before, the defence can score a heart ruff. But who defends like that?