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The Independent Culture
EAST TRIED a distinctly flashy manoeuvre in defence on the deal below. Like many spectacular efforts, it was met with a simple counter. In fact, there was a much more sensible defence that would have worked no matter what declarer had tried.

North-South game; dealer South


S Q 10 9 8 4

H A 7 5

D 5 3

C 6 4 2


7 6 2

8 6 3 2


Q 10 8 5 3


A K 3

K 9 4

J 10 9 8 6

9 7


J 5

Q J 10

A K 7 4 2


South opened One Diamond, North responded One Spade and South's jump to Three No-trumps ended the auction. West led the five of clubs and declarer won with the jack.

At trick 2 South started on the spades. West followed to the first round with the two, suggesting that he held three cards in the suit. East won with the king and, in an attempt to drive out dummy's side entry before the spades could be established, switched to the king of hearts. It is perfectly true that if declarer had won with the ace he would have had three heart tricks, but would never come to any spades and so would end with only eight tricks.

Declarer foiled East's plan by allowing the king of hearts to win. He took the heart continuation in hand, drove out the remaining top spade and still had the ace of hearts as an entry for the three spade tricks.

It is not difficult to see how East could have done better. Having calculated that his partner held three spades and hence that declarer held only two, he should have let the jack of spades win. Now the spades are shut out no matter what declarer tries, and he ends with only eight tricks.