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The defence against Four Hearts on this deal went wrong and gave declarer the opportunity for a neat play, but his chance was only half taken and the contract still failed.

South opened One Heart, North responded Two Diamonds and, when South rebid his hearts, went on to game. West led 2Q against Four hearts and this, as well as the continuation of 2J, was allowed to hold. At this point West should have switched to spades, after which South would have needed to take a lucky guess in trumps in order to succeed.

In practice, West led a third club and South ruffed. He cashed !A and then it occurred to him that, having avoided a spade switch, he could afford to lose a trick to !Q. With !J as an entry, he could reasonably expect to make four diamond tricks which would enable him to dispose of two spades.

Having reached this conclusion, South led !10. East won with !Q and returned a heart. South had not foreseen this development and, when the diamonds did not break, he had to lose a spade as well.

The idea of leading !10 was a good one but it came a trick too late. After ruffing the third club, declarer should have led !10 at once. South wins, draws one high trump, then makes two high diamonds and ruffs a diamond. Now dummy's !J is an entry for the two established diamonds.

Love all; dealer South


48 4

!J 6 3

#A K Q 6 4

2K 8 3

West East

4K 10 5 3 4Q J 9 7

!8 !Q 9 7

#J 9 5 2 #10 8

2Q J 9 4 2A 10 7 5


4A 6 2

!A K 10 5 4 2

#7 3

26 2