As West, I thought I had found a good defence against Three No- trumps on this deal, but declarer had the last word in the play. I might have been mollified by South's subsequent remark of "Good try!" but his slightly patronising tone of voice resolved me to seek revenge in the not too distant future.

South opened One Diamond, I overcalled with One Spade, and North bid Two Hearts. South continued with a firm Three No-trumps and all passed. My lead was the 410, conventionally suggesting a good suit with two higher honours. Declarer won with his king and, as I was marked with most of the missing high cards, laid down !A.

Clearly my partner could not hold much, but it seemed sure that he held !J for otherwise declarer would surely have taken a finesse in the suit into the safe hand. So I dropped !K under the ace, hoping that the jack was sufficiently well guarded.

It looked as though my defence had finished South's chances but declarer saw that he had prospects in the diamond suit. He crossed to dummy with 2K, cashed 2A, and led #10 with the intention of taking two finesses into my hand.

However, my partner covered with #J and declarer won with his king. He then played off 2Q and !Q and, on the fall of the cards, judged (correctly) that I had started with three clubs, two hearts, five spades and three diamonds. He continued with a spade to his queen. I was able to cash four spade tricks but then had to lead a diamond into his A9 tenace to give him his ninth trick.

I was just about to say: "Well played!" but South's comment pre-empted me.

North-South game; dealer South


46 5 4

!Q 10 9 6 5 4

#10 5

2A K

West East

4A J 10 8 7 49 3

!K 3 !J 8 7

#Q 8 6 #J 7 4 2

2J 9 2 210 7 6 4


4K Q 2

!A 2

#A K 9 3

2Q 8 5 3