Put yourself in the East seat, with the advantage of seeing all four hands, and see if you can spot any way to give South a problem in his contract of Four Spades. Hint: imagination is required.

A likely auction was: South, 1NT (12-14 points); North, 2! (a transfer to spades); South, 24 (dutifully); North, 3NT (offering a choice of games); South, 44 (with four card support and a weak doubleton).

West leads !2 against Four Spades, dummy plays low, and your ten holds the trick. You can see three defensive tricks, but how should you continue? Your partner is marked with !K and can hold at most two more points. The diamond suit is the obvious one to attack but, if our partner holds the queen, he will have nothing in clubs and declarer will be able to throw a diamond from dummy on a winning club before your side makes a second diamond trick.

The only way in which you can worry South is by switching to #J and trying to look like a player who has led the jack from J,10,x or J,10,x,x. But that is not enough in itself. Declarer wins with the king, does not discard one of dummy's diamonds on a winning club (so your partner seems to hold 2Q), and takes a trump finesse, losing to your king. Now comes your bug moment: you continue with #2! It is not at all unreasonable for South to judge that West has held off with his ace on the first round of the suit and, playing you for the ten, try the nine from hand. West makes an unexpected trick with his ten and you still have #A to come.

Love all; dealer South


4A J 10 7 3

!A J 3

#8 6 3

2K 7

West East

46 5 4K 4

!K 8 6 2 !Q 10 5 4

#10 5 4 #A J 2

2Q 5 4 2 210 9 8 6


4Q 9 8 2

!9 7

#K Q 9 7

2A J 3