East found a truly remarkable defence against South's slam on this deal but, as you will see as you read on, he did not find it until much later. To be fair, even its belated discovery was praiseworthy.

South opened One Club, North responded One Spade, and East overcalled with Two hearts. South reversed with Three Diamonds and, over North's Three No-trumps, pushed on with Four Diamonds. North gave preference to clubs and South went on to Six Clubs against which West led !5.

Dummy's diamond holding was a disappointment to declarer. He appeared now to have two certain losers (a diamond and 4A), but he found a neat avoidance play. After ruffing East's !K, he crossed to dummy with 29 and led a low spade. East played low and the jack won. Declarer re-entered dummy with 2J and led !Q. East covered and South ruffed high. Now 2Q drew West's last trump and !J provided a discard for the losing spade. After conceding a diamond trick, South was now home.

East does no better to play 4A at trick three, for now South can get three discards on dummy's hearts and spades and so avoid a diamond loser.

So what were East's belated thoughts? He should let dummy's heart win the first trick! Forced to take a discard before he is ready for it, South cannot escape two losers.

Game all; dealer South


4K Q 7 2

!Q J 10

#7 4 3

2Q J 9

West East

49 4 3 4A 10 8 6

!8 5 4 2 !A K 9 7 6 3

#Q J 9 #10 6

27 5 2 24


4J 5


#A K 8 5 2

2A K 10 8 6 3