It is extremely easy to reach a hopeless contract. I have been doing it for many years. What is more difficult is to make one. Try your luck on this deal and see if you can duplicate the coup brought off by Henri Svarc, the veteran French international.

Hint: It is only likely to work against expert opponents.

Love all; dealer South


4 A 8 7 6 4

! J 4

pounds K 7 5

2 10 5 3

West East

4 Q 10 9 4 J 3

! Q 8 7 3 2 ! K 9 6 5

pounds 10 8 2 pounds Q J 9

2 Q 6 2 K 9 8 4


4 K 5 2

! A 10

pounds A 6 4 3

2 A J 7 2

South opened One No-trump (15-17 points) and North raised to Three No- trumps (it would have been wiser to transfer to spades with Two Hearts, then bid only Two No-trumps, but these things happen).

Now consider the play after West leads the three of hearts to his partner's king. You have only six top winners and any attempt to develop the spade suit will let East-West cash their hearts. Any thoughts? What about winning the lead (ducking can hardly help) and playing for a blocked position in the heart suit? East might have started with exactly K987 in hearts and any three spades.

Not a bad try but, as you can see, it doesn't work, and would lead to only eight tricks even if it did.

Svarc decided to try for a swindle instead. He played dummy's jack on the opening lead, won East's king with his ace and at trick two followed with the ten of hearts!

It seemed clear to West that South held both the ten and the nine, so he ducked in order to remain in contact with his partner. With an extra heart trick in the bag, Svarc attacked spades and soon had nine tricks.