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Aided and abetted by East's pre-empt, North-South over-reached themselves and bid what appeared to be a near-hopeless slam. Feeling confident, West doubled, but he then missed two chances of defeating the contract.

South opened One Spade, North responded Two Clubs, and East joined in with Four Diamonds. South doubled, but apparently this was the wrong "system" bid, and showed something quite different from his actual hand. The result was that the partnership ended in Six Spades, doubled by West.

A heart lead would have proved best, but West missed his first opportunity when he led a trump. Wincing at the sight of dummy, declarer drew trumps in five rounds, throwing two hearts and a diamond from the table. Then came the ace and another club, won by West's king. The switch to a heart gave South a new problem, but he solved it neatly enough by winning with dummy's ace and cashing his three established club tricks.

You have to feel sorry for East at the end, searching for a final discard from !K; #K,Q, but, en route, his partner had missed a second chance. When declarer led 2A from hand, it was reasonable to assume that he did not hold 2J as well. (Or why did he not finesse?) So West, not without risk, could have dropped 2K under the ace. The point is that East now gets in with the jack of clubs on the third round of the suit and can return the diamond king - breaking up any possible squeeze.

Love all; dealer South


4K Q

!A Q 10 8

#6 4

2Q 10 9 7 3

West East

47 6 5 4 2 48

!J 9 7 6 3 2 !K 4

#none #K Q J 9 7 5 2

2K 2 2J 8 5


4A J 10 9 3


#A 10 8 3

2A 6 4