It is galling, when you hold two cashable aces against a slam, to see partner lead some other suit. East did well on this deal to keep his temper - and his aces! - under control.

After wild and undisciplined bidding, South ended in Six Hearts and West led 210. Declarer tried the jack from dummy and ruffed East's queen. He crossed to !K, ruffed a low club, and drew the last trump with !A. Then he crossed to dummy with !10 and discarded all of his diamonds on the established clubs. Next came 4K.

By this time East had parted with two spades and a diamond and now had a problem. If he won with 4A, his next lead would concede a trick. A spade would allow declarer to establish 49 with one ruff, and a low diamond would be allowed to run to the table.

Having already seen his diamond winner disappear, East had to duck with 4A as well. After this neat defence, declarer could make only two more trumps and had to lose the last two tricks.

Even though he was in an "impossible" contract, could South have done better? Suppose at trick two, instead of crossing to !K, he finesses !10. With the extra entry to dummy, he no longer has to play a third round of trumps in order to enjoy dummy's three club tricks.

Game all; dealer South



!K 10 7 6

#Q 9 5

2A K J 6 3

West East

410 4 2 4A J 8 5 3

!J 5 !4

#J 8 6 2 #A 7 4

210 9 8 2 2Q 7 5 4


4Q 9 7 6

!A Q 9 8 3 2

#K 10 3