Wednesday 08 April 1998
South opened One Heart and North forced to game with Two Spades. Now both Six Hearts and Six No-trumps would have been comfortable, but both North and South did too much and the final contract was Seven Hearts against which West led #10.
Near hopeless? Not at all, as South demonstrated. He won in hand with #J and drew trumps, carefully (for no very good reason!) unblocking with dummy's !K and !J. West parted with a useless diamond, and declarer cashed #A and #K, discarding a club from dummy. Then he played off his remaining two trumps, throwing two more clubs from the table. On the first of these, West parted with 23 and East threw the 13th diamond.
On the last trump, still desperate to retain his four-card spade holding, West let 24 go and, with a similar problem, East parted with 29. Now a club to the ace collected the king and queen and a low spade to the queen gave South the remaining tricks. Even at the end, East should have realised that his partner would not be preserving 410,x,x. Whether West held 4Q,x,x or 410,x,x, East could discard a spade. Alternatively, West could have discarded 2K - a completely useless card whoever held 2Q - early on.
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