"I am sorry" was South's comment after this deal. "I have been reading a chapter on partial elimination plays and I couldn't resist trying one. It didn't work." Perhaps a simpler explanation for his failure was that he had not seen the wood for the trees.

South opened One Spade, West doubled and North redoubled. East bid Two Clubs and, after two passes, North supported spades rather than take an unsatisfactory penalty. South went on to game and West led #K against Four Spades.

It seemed very likely to declarer that both the king and queen of hearts were with West, so he proceeded with his plan for an elimination. He ducked the opening lead, won the diamond continuation, and cashed 2A,K to discard a diamond. Then he ruffed a diamond in hand, cashed 4K, and crossed to 4A. Next came a club ruff in hand and he triumphantly exited with !J to West's queen.

True, a heart lead from West now would have solved South's problems, but he unsportingly led a fourth round of diamonds. Dummy, East and South all ruffed to leave dummy with !6,4 23, East with !9, 2J,9, declarer with !A,10,3 and West with !K,7,5. South tried leading !3 but now it was East who had all the remaining tricks. (Declarer had needed to find West with !K,9,8 at this point.)

What about the simple approach? Cash all four side-suit winners and give up a heart. There is now plenty of time to concede another heart and ruff the last heart with 4A for the tenth trick.