Monday 23 March 1998
!A 10 8 7 6 5 3
2K 10 8
4K Q 10 8 6 4J 9 5 2
!K Q J 9 !2
#A K Q 9 #10 5 4 2
2none 26 4 3 2
#K 8 7 6
2A Q J 9 7 5
"Very odd!" West remarked philosophically after this deal. "I would have done better if I had either bid on or kept quiet altogether." He could hardly have considered the second possibility.
South opened One Club and West aggressively bid Two Clubs. North showed his hearts, South rebid clubs and, although East-West now reached Four Spades, North went on to Five Clubs. West's final double was to prove costly - Five Spades would have been cheap and en route he had presented declarer with a blueprint of his hand.
West led the king of spades against Five Clubs doubled and, although against silent opponents declarer might have tried to do something with dummy's hearts, a cross-ruff now looked a better prospect. The trouble was that even one round of trumps by the defenders would leave him a trick short.
The best hope was that West was void in clubs and that East could be kept off lead. So South ducked the opening lead, won the spade continuation, and then made the key play when he led the king of diamonds from hand. West won and could do no better than lead a heart. Declarer now cross- ruffed his way to 11 tricks.
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