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Game all; dealer North

North

4A Q 4 2

!J 8

#A K J 4

2Q 9 3

West East

4K 10 9 7 4none

!A 10 !9 7 6 4 2

#Q 8 6 3 #10 9 5

28 7 6 2J 10 5 4 2

South

4J 8 6 5 3

!K Q 5 3

#7 2

2A K

After going down in the inelegant contract of Five Spades, South criticised his partner's bidding. But was North the only one at fault?

South opened One Spade. North bid Two diamonds, and South bid hearts. North jumped to a Blackwood Four No-trumps and, on learning that an ace was missing, put on the brakes in Five Spades.

West led a club and, after winning in hand, South finessed the queen of spades. This won, but the trump break was bad news. Gloomily South drove out the ace of hearts and conceded two trump tricks for one down.

North's bidding was wild. He would have been far better advised to force with Three Diamonds on the first round and complete the picture of his hand with a jump to Four Spades, leaving any advance beyond game to his partner.

If South had not been so eager to explain all this to North, he might have improved on his play. When the finesse of the queen of spades exposes the position, declarer must hope that West has a 4-2-4-3 distrubution. He cashes dummy's top diamonds and ruffs a diamond in hand, plays off his other top club, and leads a heart. Suppose West takes his ace and plays another. The jack wins, the queen of clubs is cashed, and dummy's last diamond ruffed.

Now the king of hearts is led. West perforce ruffs low but dummy under- ruffs to leave West on lead at trick 12 to play away from his king of trumps.

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