This deal represents a two-part problem. First, why was South pleased with his extremely accurate play in 6!? And second, why did his delight turn to quiet rage at comparison time on this deal from match- play?

A long and scientific auction led one South to 6!. Believe it or not, he had been able to ascertain that his partner held 4A and #K but not #Q or 4K, so he was able to judge that Six was high enough. Well done, and the play was neat, too. Declarer won the opening club lead, drew trumps, and cashed the two top diamonds. If both opponents had followed suit, there would have been no difficulty in simply conceding a diamond; if West proved short in diamonds, then a ruffing finesse in spades, repeated if necessary, would have ensured 12 tricks; and, as the diamonds lay, a simply spade finesse would have end-played East even if he had been able to win.

Very neat, and South was quietly pleased with his good technique. But why was he in for a disappointment? At the other table, with no pretensions to science, North-South had blasted their way to 7!. Hoping for the best in a dubious contract, South had won the club lead and rattled off seven rounds of trumps. Poor West was squeezed flat in diamonds and spades and the grand slam rolled in.

Game all; dealer South


4A Q 10 8

!10 9 8 7

#K 6 4 2


West East

4K J 6 2 47 5 4 3

!6 !3

#Q 10 9 8 #J

2J 10 9 6 2K 8 7 5 4 3 2



!A K Q J 5 4 2

#A 7 5 3