Game all; dealer South


49 6 3

!K 10 9

#A J 9 8

27 6 3

West East

4K Q 10 5 4 4J 8 2

!7 3 !Q 6 4 2

#Q 5 2 #4 3

2Q 4 2 2J 10 9 5


4A 7

!A J 8 5

#K 10 7 6

2A K 8

"I played that well enough, didn't I?" demanded South of his partner after this deal from match-play. "Like a text-book," replied North, adding "101 Common Bridge Mistakes Analysed - that text-book," under his breath. Playing more academically, the other South had gone two down in Three No-trumps.

The auction was the same at both tables: South opened One Diamond, West overcalled with One Spade, North raised Diamonds, and South jumped to Three No-trumps, against which West led 4K, and continued the suit when this was allowed to hold.

The successful declarer won, crossed to !K, and ran !10 (into the danger hand!). When this won, he repeated the heart finesse and, despite now having nine top tricks, took the winning view in diamonds to end with 11 tricks.

The other South demonstrated how the hand should have been played. After winning the second spade, he cashed #A and #K. If the queen had fallen he would have had nine tricks but, when nothing happened, he finessed !10. If this lost to the queen, he reasoned, there was the extra chance that East held no more spades and then, if he held DQ, the ninth trick could be safely developed in diamonds. As you can see, he ended with four tricks fewer than his counterpart.