South made a good start in his contract of Four Hearts in this deal, but fell at the second fence.

North opened One Club, South responded One Heart, and North rebid One No-trump. This was "wide-range", suggesting a balanced 12-15 points, and South's next bid of Two Clubs asked for clarification. North replied Two Hearts, showing a minimum 12-13 points but with three-card heart support, and now South pushed on to the heart game.

West started with the ace and another club against Four Hearts and, after winning, East played a third round. Declarer saw that if he were over- ruffed, he would surely lose a diamond as well. Instead of trumping, he discarded #3, exchanging one loser for another. East switched to a diamond, and declarer won on the table.

The contract hinged on picking up !Q and, as East had shown up with six clubs to his partner's two, declarer decided to play West for the missing !Q. He came to hand with !A and successfully ran !J. However, East showed out and there was no way to avoid a trump loser.

Having decided to play West for the length in hearts, South should have come to hand with a spade and run !J before releasing the ace. This would have enabled him to pick up !Q,x,x,x in West's hand, and would only lose if East held the singleton queen - less likely than a low singleton.

Game all; dealer North


4Q 6 3

!K 8 5

#A K 4 2

2J 7 4

West East

49 7 5 2 4J 10 8

!Q 7 4 2 !6

#Q 10 7 #J 8 5

2A 9 2K Q 8 6 5 2


4A K 4

!A J 10 9 3

#9 6 3

210 3