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South spotted the danger that might have upset his contract of Three No-trumps on this deal and made an effort to bypass it. However, he did not choose the right line of play and still went down. Can you spot his mistake?

South opened One No-trump (16-18 points) and West overcalled with Two Hearts. He had a lucky escape when North raised his partner to game instead of doubling and taking a substantial penalty.

West led !Q against 3NT and, not wanting to give East the lead if it could possibly be avoided, declarer won in dummy and played the ace and another club, rejecting the finesse. He did not mind West getting in and now had the extra chance of dropping the king of clubs. East won the second club, however, and switched to spades. The finesse lost, West cleared the suit, and now South could not come to more than eight tricks.

South was quite right to be apprehensive of a spade lead from East, but he missed a neat play. It is perfectly all right - indeed, a good idea - to cash the ace of clubs, but when the king does not fall, declarer should finesse the queen of diamonds. West may well be able to win, but now any continuation gives South plenty of time to establish and cash nine tricks.

East-West game; dealer South


4J 5

!K 5 2

#6 4 2

2A Q 10 7 6

West East

4K 7 4 410 9 8 6 3 2

!Q J 9 8 7 6 !3

#K 9 5 #J 8 7 3

23 2K 4


4A Q

!A 10 4

#A Q 10

2J 9 8 5 2