The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PAUSE & PLAY -

South topped the jack with the ace and banged out the top spades without suc­cess. A spade was con­ceded to the queen but East switched to a club. De­clarer fi­nessed but West pro­duced the king and re­turned an­other for the ace. With hearts break­ing 3-3, two over­tricks were home, N-S +660.

West had done well to re­ject a club lead where South will score at least twelve tricks and per­haps thir­teen if he guesses the spade po­si­tion. He could play off a top spade, lead a heart to dummy and ad­vance the jack of spades pin­ning the ten. This play would bring home the suit without loss on this lay­out.

West could be cer­tain that the game would not be de­feated since he held merely a king. Stay­man was not em­ployed by North and he, there­fore, elected to go pas­sive by choos­ing a heart lead. A spade lead was too risky as ev­i­denced by this lay­out and the nine of di­a­monds held lit­tle ap­peal on this auc­tion. The re­cap was lit­tered with +690's which dic­tates that most play­ers in the West seat be­gan with a club ced­ing a trick. No de­clarer was able to cor­ral thir­teen tricks and we can thus sur­mise that all de­clar­ers played spades from the top.

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