East was on target when defending against three No-trumps on this deal. He appreciated the need to attack dummy's side entry before the long suit could be established. He succeeded, though, only because declarer missed the appropriate counter.

East opened One Spade and, after two passes, North (in the protective position) re-opened with Three Diamonds. East passed and it was easy for South to try Three No-trumps. All passed and West led the 49 to the queen and ace.

The lead marked declarer with two guards in the suit, so East did not persevere with spades. Instead he sought to attack dummy's outside entry before declarer could get the diamonds working for him. He gave a thought to playing the 2K, but finally chose 22. South followed with the three and won West's queen with dummy's ace. Declarer played on diamonds but East held off until the third round. South won the spade return and tried the 2J. East unsportingly declined to win and, completely cut off from dummy's winning diamonds, South could only come to two tricks in each suit.

East had played well with his switch at trick two, but South had completely overlooked a not too difficult unblocking play when he followed with 23. If he had played the jack instead, the defenders would not have been able to prevent him gaining he vital entry to the table with either 210 or 29 to enjoy the long diamonds.

Game all; dealer East



!9 6 5

#K Q J 5 4 2

2A 10 9

West East

49 4 4A 10 8 7 6 3

!J 10 8 7 4 3 !Q

#9 #A 8 6

2Q 7 6 5 2K 4 2


4K J 5 2

!A K 2

#10 7 3

2J 8 3