Friday 23 January 1998
!A J 10 9 8 5
#10 7 2
28 7 6
4Q 9 8 6 2 4J 4 3
!3 !Q 6 4 2
#9 8 6 4 #3
2K Q 9 2A J 10 3 2
4A K 10 7
#A K Q J 5
After a few tricks had been played on this deal, it looked very much as though South's heart game would be defeated by a diamond ruff. He took his best chance and was suitably gratified when, in turn, the defenders missed their way.
With an awkward hand to bid, South decided to open Two No-trumps. North responded Three Diamonds - a transfer - and raised South's dutiful Three Hearts to game. West led 2K against Four Hearts and East was on track when he overtook with 2A and switched to his singleton diamond.
South won, cashed !K, and led another trump. It was not good news when West showed out, for declarer could read #3 as a singleton and a ruff was imminent if he persisted with trumps.
Instead, he cashed his two top spades, throwing a club from dummy, and continued with 47. West covered complacently with his eight but dummy's last club went away and it was East who won the trick with 4J. Now West could not get in and, leaving diamonds strictly alone, declarer was able to shift the remaining trumps.
West would have done better to go in with 4Q on the third round of spades (establishing a trick for 410, but this does not help declarer). Furthermore, on the second top spade, East could have made it impossible for his partner to go wrong, by dropping his useless jack.
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