Saturday 29 May 1999
South opened Two Clubs, West overcalled with Two Spades and, after two passes, South showed his hearts. With a difficult call, North improvised with Three Spades (perhaps South might have a spade guard, and bid no- trumps?). No such luck, and over South's next move of Four Diamonds, North gave false preference to hearts. All passed and West started with three top spades. East discarded his diamond and declarer ruffed with the two of hearts.
After East's discard prospects were bleak, but South played his three top trumps, then East with the four, six and nine. Then came the ace of clubs and the top diamonds. As, if he ruffed, East would be reduced to leading clubs and bringing dummy to life, he discarded clubs, but now South triumphantly exited with his eight of hearts to East's ten.
So, what were the two antagonists' little slips? The post-mortem revealed all. Conceding the contract with bad grace, before South could point it out East admitted: "I should have dropped my nine and ten on the second and third round of trumps. Then you can't throw me in and my partner makes two diamond tricks."
But South had the last word: "Had I thought you capable of such a good play, I would have ruffed the spade with my eight and kept the two. Then you could not have avoided being thrown in when I led the two."
Game all; dealer South
49 8 6 2
#5 4 3
2K Q 7 4
4A K Q 10 3 47 5
!5 !10 9 6 4
#Q 10 9 7 6 #J
210 6 2J 9 8 5 3 2
!A K Q J 8 2
#A K 8 2
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