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The Independent Online
THIS HAND, from the pairs congress at Puerto de Santa Maria in Spain, features Paul Fenn in fine form both in bidding and play.

Monique Leblanc, dealer, opened One Diamond. Fenn responded One Heart and West overcalled Two Clubs. North bid Two Hearts and South, appreciating the value of the double red-suit fit, jumped to Four No Trumps - Roman Key Card Blackwood. The Five Spade response showed two out of the four aces and king of hearts, plus the heart queen. South bid Six Hearts rather than Six Diamonds, deciding that the 4-4 heart fit may well play better than the 5-4 diamond fit, as it might prove necessary to discard on South's fifth diamond.

West led 2A and switched to #2, an obvious singleton. Declarer now made the key play of winning with the ace in dummy instead of letting the diamond run to his hand.

Note what happens if you don't. Needing to ruff two clubs in hand, dummy is entered with a trump and a club ruffed. Crossing to dummy with another trump, the final club is ruffed. But now there is no way back to dummy to draw the last trump.

By winning with the ace of diamonds, a club can be ruffed immediately. Dummy is accessed with a trump, the final club is ruffed, and dummy re- entered by overtaking South's last trump. The outstanding heart is drawn, then the diamond finesse taken and the diamonds cashed. The fifth diamond provides a parking place for North's losing spade, just as Paul Fenn envisaged.

Love all; dealer North


410 6

!A Q 10 4

#A 10 5 3

2Q 4 2

West East

4K J 2 4Q 8 7 5 3

!8 6 3 !7 2

#2 #Q 9 6

2A K J 10 7 5 29 8 6


4A 9 4

!K J 9 5

#K J 8 7 4