East missed a chance - admittedly a far from obvious one - to beat Three No-trumps on this deal.

South opened One Club and reversed with Two Hearts over the response of One Spade. North might have contented himself with simple club preference but, more adventurously, tried Three Diamonds (the fourth suit). South now bid Three No-trumps, all passed, and West led #5 which went to the 4, 10 and Q.

South cashed the ace and king of spades and tried a low heart to the queen, losing to the king. East returned #J and West ducked, allowing dummy's king to hold the trick. Next, dummy's three winning spades were played off and West had to find two discards. Thinking that declarer might try a losing heart finesse for his ninth trick, he parted with both of his clubs. However, South read the position well and led #7 from dummy. When West took his winning diamonds, declarer discarded his clubs and took the last two tricks with !A,10.

At first sight, West does better to discard one of his winning diamonds on the spades, but now declarer has time to establish a trick in clubs for his contract. The surest defence is for East to return #3 instead of #J at trick five. If the play goes in the same way as before, this means that East can win the third round of diamonds and push a heart through declarer's !A,10.

Love all; dealer South


4Q J 9 6 3

!Q 6

#K 7 4

210 7 3

West East

410 5 2 48 7 4

!J 9 5 !K 8 4 2

#A 9 8 5 2 #J 10 3

25 4 2A Q 2


4A K

!A 10 7 3

#Q 6

2K J 9 8 6