This deal illustrates some neat card play by declarer after the defenders had got off to a good start. West opened 1#, North passed, and East raised to 2# rather than show his hearts. South joined in with 24 and, after a raise by North, went on to game.

West did well to begin with a low trump. Declarer won East's queen with his king and, as any attempt to ruff two diamonds on the table would be met by two more rounds of trumps, tested the hearts with the king, ace and a high ruff on which West discarded a diamond.

Realising it would be futile to persist with hearts, South played another trump himself. West won and, as expected, led a third round, making things look black for declarer. He would be able to ruff only one of his diamond losers, so looked set to lose two diamonds and a club. There was, however, an outside chance ...

South played off 2A and, seeing dangers ahead, West unblocked with the queen. On the next top club he contributed the jack but, when declarer produced the nine, he was forced to win. As a diamond lead would have been immediately fatal, West led the 13th club - conceding a ruff and discard. As he correctly reasoned, it would not help declarer to ruff in either hand, as he would still have only two remaining trump tricks at his disposal.

Not so! On the 13th club, both North and South discarded diamonds! This left West on lead and his forced diamond return gave declarer the remaining three tricks.

Game all; dealer West


49 7 6 4

!A 10 8 6 2


27 6 4

West East

4A 3 2 4Q

!5 4 !Q J 9 7

#A Q 3 2 #J 10 9 8 7

2Q J 10 8 25 3 2


4K J 10 8 5

!K 3

#K 5 4

2A K 9