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The art of making seemingly "impossible" contracts is an essential part of your technique if you usually bid as wildly as South on this deal. Afterwards, East claimed that he might have done better in the defence, but declarer smugly disillusioned him.

East opened 1! and South overcalled with 24 (described as "intermediate" and, certainly, neither weak nor strong). West, under pressure, raised to 3! and North, hoping to get his teeth into 4!, contested with 34.

It was great news for North when East obliged with 4! (which would surely have failed by three or four tricks), but bad news when South bid 44 and East doubled.

West led !4 to the nine and ace and declarer ruffed. With only one entry to dummy and the likelihood of a bad trump break, declarer's prospects were not good.

The only possible light in the darkness was that West had not led a top diamond. Could East have a singleton honour? At trick two, therefore, South crossed to 2A, finessed 2J, cashed 2K, and exited with a low diamond. Wonderful. East won with the ace and, with little choice, got off lead with 4J. Declarer finessed, cashed the ace of trumps, and exited with another. East could take his two winners but then had to lead a heart and South's two losing diamonds went away.

East could have done no better by unblocking with a top spade under the ace, to exit with 45. As declarer pointed out, 45 would be allowed to win a trick.

Love all; dealer East


48 6

!K J 10 9

#10 9 6 4

2A 8 3

West East

47 4K J 10 5

!Q 8 5 4 !A 7 6 3 2

#K J 8 7 3 #A

29 6 4 2Q 10 7


4A Q 9 4 3 2


#Q 5 2

2K J 5 2