Love all; dealer North


4K Q 4

!8 4 3

#J 5

2A K Q 9 7

West East

4A 8 7 6 410 2

!K 6 5 !Q 7

#K 7 #A 10 9 8 6 4 3

28 6 4 2 2J 5


4J 9 5 3

!A J 10 9 2

#Q 2

210 3

The importance of getting in on the act was well illustrated on this deal from the Generali European Championships. In the Ladies Series, when Great Britain opposed Russia, East passed when Michele Handley as North opened One Club. This gave her and her partner Sandra Landy an unopposed run to Four Hearts. Yes, the contract was off in top tricks, but West, on lead, had an unattractive choice.

Her selection of ace and another spade gave Sandra a chance - just! And she was not slow to take it when, after winning in dummy, Sandra played off the top three clubs. East ruffed the third with !7 but now, after over-ruffing, declarer played off the !A, collecting East's queen, and after crossing to dummy with a spade, was able to discard a losing diamond on the 29, and now there were only three losers.

It was excellent opportunism but, given the unfortunate lead and continuation, could East-West have recovered? Yes, instead of !7, ruffing the third club with the !Q (very difficult to diagnose at the table) would have proved sufficient.