East overlooked a vital principle on this deal: the fact that bridge is a partnership game! Pursuing his own affairs in defence, he failed to see that he was embarrassing his partner.

Playing five-card majors, South opened 1# and North responded 22. East overcalled with 2# (a Michaels cue-bid suggesting length in the majors) but this did not deter North-South and the final contract was 3NT against which West led !2. It was a mild irritant to find East discarding a spade but, when West played low on the next club lead, dummy's seven won.

South came back to hand with a top diamond to lead a third round of clubs. This time West took his king and continued with the queen and another heart. East won with the jack and, with 4A as an apparently sure entry, cleared the hearts.

This left West with a problem. As a discard in either minor suit would give declarer his ninth trick, he reluctantly parted with his spade.

Reading the position well, South cashed his remaining two top diamonds and put West in with a fourth round, reducing him to leading a club and so allowing dummy to win the last two tricks with the aid of the marked finesse. As a result, East's 4A never featured in the action.

This was a position that East might well have foreseen. In spite of having an almost certain entry with 4A to cash the long heart, he should have ducked the third round of hearts. Now West is under no pressure and, still holding a spade, retains communication with his partner's hand and so holds declarer to eight tricks.

Game all; dealer South


4K Q 10 6


#A 8 3

2Q 10 8 7 2

West East

48 4A J 9 5 4 2

!Q 6 2 !K J 8 5 4

#J 9 6 2 #10 7

2K J 9 6 4 2none


47 3

!A 10 9 7

#K Q 5 4

2A 5 3