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West accepted his partner's congratulations modestly enough when he came up with the winning defence on this deal. In fact he had had a less far-sighted motive in mind.

South opened One Heart, North responded Two Clubs, and South raised to Three Clubs. When North now tried Three Hearts, South went on to game and West led #6 against Four Hearts. East took his ace and returned #J to the queen and king. Hopeful that it was his partner who held the doubleton diamond, West led another, but it was East who produced #10 and declarer ruffed in hand.

South continued with the ace and another heart to West's king. West now woke up to the fact that he had unwittingly stumbled on the best defence, and he played a fourth round of diamonds to promote East's !J for the setting trick.

As the cards lie, declarer can succeed by playing a low heart towards the queen without releasing his ace. This would be wrong, however, if East held either !J,x or !10,x, but West was slightly more likely than East to be short in hearts - after all, he appeared to have started with six diamonds to East's three.

Game all; dealer South


49 4

!Q 5 3

#5 2

2A K J 6 4 2

West East

4J 5 2 4K 10 8 7 3

!K 4 !J 10 8

#K 9 8 6 4 3 #A J 10

29 5 210 7


4A Q 6

!A 9 7 6 2

#Q 7

2Q 8 3