East won the king to return the spade five but South inserted the ten. West scored the ace and cleared the suit with a third round as dummy parted with a heart and a club. A club to the king was followed by a low diamond as the eight was topped by the nine. With diamonds breaking 3-2, ten tricks were in the bank. If East had contributed the nine or a diamond honor, declarer might abandon that suit and switch to hearts for another happy ending.
South's play of the ten of spades was correct although he would not enjoy this hand when West produces the jack and the defense scores six spade tricks.
South, reasonably, declined to offer a negative double with such feeble hearts. A foul break might be difficult to overcome even if a 4-4 fit existed. The 2NT response was a descriptive action and North boosted to the nine-trick game in spite of West's spade raise.
If South had doubled two spades, North would venture four hearts but he would be restricted to ten tricks when West wins the spade lead and returns another, tapping North. If North ducks a diamond, a third spade promotes a trump winner for East. If declarer draws trump, he will lose two spades and a diamond trick.
Author: Dave Willis - visit his website at www.insidebridge.ca
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