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South fell victim to a neat double-cross by West on this deal. Although the cards were in fact well placed for him, he was persuaded to try a line of play that led to failure.

North opened 1!, South responded 14, and North rebid his hearts. Torn between supporting hearts and stressing his own good suit, South finally settled for 34 and was raised to game. West led his singleton heart against 44 and ruffed the heart return.

If West had now returned a diamond, declarer would have had little choice but to finesse (successfully) and duly come to 10 tricks. However, West found a way to give South a chance to go wrong. He cashed 2A, then switched to #9.

South now had a reasonable alternative to the diamond finesse. If the remaining trumps divided 2-2, he could win with #A, draw trumps ending in dummy, and take the marked ruffing finesse in hearts to discard his losing diamonds. He duly tried this but West still had a trump left and declarer was a trick short.

A little more thought might have put South on the right track. If the diamond finesse was wrong, West would surely have led a diamond immediately instead of cashing 2A, for this would have defeated the contract automatically.

Love all; dealer North


4K 3

!J 10 8 7 6 2

#A Q

2K Q 7

West East

410 8 5 4 42

!4 !A Q 9 5

#K 9 8 5 #J 6 4 2

2A J 6 4 210 9 5 3


4A Q J 9 7 6

!K 3

#10 7 3

28 2