Bridge

South read the situation very well on this deal and made his game contract when - dare I say it? - many players would have failed.

After three passes, South opened One Spade. North raised to Three Spades, South went on to game, and West led #10 against Four Spades. East took his ace and, rather riskily, tried his luck with a low club. (He was lucky to find declarer with only #Q,x and not #Q,x,x when a club loser could have been averted.)

When dummy's ten was allowed to win, declarer took stock. Prospects were not good: East had passed in third hand and appeared to hold #A,J and 2A and he would surely have opened the bidding if he held 4K as well. With a certain heart loser to come, it looked as though South had to hope for West to hold the singleton 4K.

There was no rush, however, and some extra chances if West held 4K,x, so first declarer led another club.

East took his ace and exited with a diamond to dummy's king. Now came 4A (no immediate joy!) and two more rounds of clubs. When West followed to the fourth club, declarer ruffed in dummy with 4Q. The queen held, as expected, and declarer got off lead with a trump to West's king.

Now it was all over: West had the choice of leading away from his !K or conceding a ruff and discard. Very elegant indeed!

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