It rarely pays to over-ruff with a sure trump trick and this deal was no exception, although, as it proved, for an unlikely reason.

After two passes, South opened Four Hearts and, with too many goodies to go quietly, West decided to double. With an equally unattractive choice of bids, East passed and his partner led the ace and another club against 4! doubled.

East won with his king and played a third club which South ruffed with his king. With anything like !A,J or !A,10, it would have been easy for West to discard, but with no hope of promoting anything for his two of trumps, he over-ruffed and switched to 4J, effectively destroying any chance there might have been for a squeeze. Declarer finessed 4Q successfully and cashed the ace to discard a diamond loser but was now faced with an apparently lost cause. If he tried to cash 2Q, West could ruff, while if he drew trumps there would be only nine tricks.

South found an imaginative solution: he led !6 from dummy. caught unawares, East followed with his three. Declarer played the five from hand and, with the lead still on the table, could now cash 2Q for his 10th trick.

If West refrains from over-ruffing with his ace at trick three or, more difficult to appreciate at the table, East covers !6 with his seven, declarer is one trick short.

East-West game; dealer North


4A Q 8 6 3


#10 8 4

2Q 9 6 4

West East

4K J 10 7 5 49 4

!A 2 !7 4 3

#K J 7 6 #Q 5 3

2A 5 2K 10 8 7 3



!K Q J 10 9 8 5

#A 9 2

2J 2