Bridge

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West thought for a long time before he led to the second trick on this deal. He had a sensible plan in mind but failed to execute it in the best possible way.

After two passes, East attempted a tactical coup by opening One Club instead of the more usual pre-emptive call. South started with a cue-bid of Two Clubs, North showed his spades, South suggested Hearts, and North rebid his spades. He brightened up, however, when South next bid diamonds, and the final contract was Six Diamonds.

West started with 4A and the play to the first trick revealed the position in the suit. West was hopeful of making a trick with his #Q for, after the opening bid, declarer might well be inclined to place East with that card. However, if East held #10, South would have no option but to try to drop the queen. So (eventually) West continued with a low spade. His idea was that East could ruff with #10 if he held it and so ensure a trick for the queen.

The plan misfired badly when East could only ruff the spade low and was over-ruffed. Now the trump position was exposed and declarer had no problem in making the contract.

It would have been a better scheme to play 4Q at trick two. If East holds #10, he can ruff in the hope of a promotion, while if he is missing the ten he can see that no purpose will be served by ruffing. With no clues now, declarer might well have got the trumps wrong.

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