Bridge

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"I know that I could have beaten 4S if I had led a heart," said West at the end of this deal. "But wasn't there a case for you playing back 22 at trick two? Then I can win and push a heart through."

"I would look really foolish if declarer turned up with the queen," replied East, and there the matter rested. Any thoughts?

South opened 14, North responded 2#, and South rebid his spades rather than offer support ("100 for honours, partner!") North raised to 34 and South went on to game, although a pass would have escaped criticism. West led 27 , East won with 2K, cashed the ace, and led a third club. South ruffed, drew trumps, and lost only a heart at the end.

West was right: there was a good case for East returning 22 at the trick two. If West's lead is a true fourth highest, he began with 2Q,J,8,7,(x), 2J,10,8,7,(x) or 2Q,10,8,7,(x). Against a suit contract, he would surely have led the queen and the jack respectively from the first two, so the lead strongly suggests that he does indeed hold the queen.

So there was no real danger of South winning an undeserved trick with the queen. West, on lead with 2Q, would easily realise what was expected of him.

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