With only one entry to dummy, you would rightly assume that the best percentage way to play the diamond suit on the deal above would be to finesse the queen and hope for a 2-2 break with the king well placed. The informative opposition bidding, however, persuaded declarer to play against the odds.

South opened One Diamond and, at favourable vulnerability, West decided to double. North bid One Spade, East (quite reasonably) jumped to Three Hearts. South showed his clubs and, after a preference to diamonds by North, went on to game. West led 4Q against Five Diamonds, studied the fall of the cards closely and, when it was allowed to win, switched to the ace and another heart.

Declarer tried the queen from dummy and ruffed East's king. Now, how should he play the trumps? Consider: East has been marked by the early play with both !K and 4A (unless West was playing a very deep game indeed). For West to have any semblance of a take-out double, he must hold the king of trumps. If it was guarded, unlucky; but the only genuine chance of success lay in finding it singleton. So South laid down #A with pleasing results and used dummy's 2K as an entry to pick up the jack of trumps.

After the standard exchange of witticisms about West learning to hold his cards up, it seemed to escape notice that the only reason for West losing a vulnerable game was that he had joined in the bidding without the qualifications. Controlled aggression is fine, but here it cost 700 or 800 points.

North-South game; dealer South


4K 10 7 6 3

!Q 10 2

#4 3 2

2K 5

West East

4Q J 9 8 4A 5 4

!A 9 8 7 !K J 6 5 4

#K #J 9 5

210 8 7 6 24 2




#A Q 10 8 7 6

2A Q J 9 3