Although the defence may not have been perfect, this deal (from 1951) showed the late Terence Reese at his shrewdest and most accurate.

Terence, as South, was playing with Plum Meredith in the Masters Pairs when they met the then young Oxford pair Alan Truscott (now bridge correspondent of the New York Times) and Robert D'Unienville. After two passes, Truscott, as East, opened 14 - perhaps not everyone's choice nowadays but it had a pre-emptive value.

South overcalled with 2! and, after two passes, East doubled. (In these days of negative doubles, East would be virtually obliged to re-open with a double in case his partner held heart length, but then the double showed extra values.) West decided to make a penalty pass - bidding 3# would have been far safer - and led 49. East took his ace and returned the suit, hoping for a ruff, although a club return would have proved more effective.

Now Reese was in charge. He won with 4K and led !10 to give West an immediate problem. He solved it by taking his queen and switching to a club but it was all too late. Dummy's ace won, a spade was ruffed high and then - the key play - a low trump was led to dummy's seven! It was all over: another high ruff of a spade established the long card in the suit and dummy's !9 was still there as an entry to draw the last trump and enjoy the final spade.

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