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South ducked the jack of spades but won the con­tin­u­a­tion of the ten. A low di­a­mond was ad­vanced for the jack and queen as East switched to the king of clubs. De­clarer scooped the ace and cashed a top di­a­mond col­lect­ing the ten from West. He fin­ished the di­a­monds and fol­lowed with the top hearts. Hearts broke 4-2 but nine tricks were home, N-S +600.

De­feat would have been im­mi­nent if West had pro­duced the queen of di­a­monds or East had held queen-ten fourth but it was de­clarer's lucky day. A switch to the king of clubs at trick two will not de­feat the con­tract. De­clarer wins the ace and plays a di­a­mond for the jack and queen. The de­fense can cash only two clubs be­cause of the block­age where South emerges with an­other nine tricks.

North's re­solve to raise to 3NT was more than a tad ag­gres­sive. With a mis­er­able 6 HCP, he should have passed part­ner's 2NT re­bid (18-19 HCP). The game was a low per­cent­age con­tract, to be sure, but the friendly lay­out dic­tated that South could not be pre­vented from earn­ing the game bonus. At one table, South up­graded his hand and opened 2NT where North em­ployed Stay­man to set­tle into 3NT when part­ner de­nied a four­card ma­jor.

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