South made an odd mistake on this deal: paying too much attention to his opponents' bidding! As a result, he missed the possible inferences to be drawn from the opening lead.

West opened One Diamond, East responded One Spade, and South overcalled in hearts. West rebid Three Diamonds and, after a raise by North, South went on to game in Hearts.

West led 42 to give South an immediate problem. bearing East's spade call in mind, he wet up with dummy's ace and returned the queen, discarding a club when East played low. West won with 4K and switched to a club. South had to dispose of his club loser before trying for a diamond ruff. He crossed to !J and threw 28 on the 4J, but later, when he tried to ruff a diamond on the table, East was able to over-ruff. Thus South finished a trick short.

A finesse of 4Q at trick one wins the contract, for now the third diamond can be ruffed high in dummy. West might well have led a high diamond if he had held both the ace and king, or a high club with 2K,Q,J. He has bid freely at the Three level and must have a fair hand which, on the evidence so far, is quite likely to include the king of spades.

East-West game; dealer West


4A Q J 6

!J 5 3

#10 4

26 5 4 2

West East

4K 4 2 410 9 8 7 5

!9 !10 8 2

#A Q J 9 7 6 #K 8

2K 9 7 2Q J 10



!A K Q 7 6 4

#5 3 2

2A 8 3