When a com­pe­tent a player de­clarer has bid, can of­ten work out where all the miss­ing hon­ours are and play the hand as though he can see through the back of the cards. Take to­day’s hand. Af­ter West had opened one heart and North over­called two di­a­monds, South then made the prac­ti­cal bid of three no-trump.

How should South play to make his con­tract af­ter West leads the jack of hearts and dummy’s queen wins the first trick?

De­clarer and dummy have a com­bined twenty six points, which marks West with nearly all the miss­ing points.

If de­clarer next leads the club queen from dummy, West will win and can then clear the heart suit, leav­ing de­clarer a trick short.

So, de­clarer has a neat plan to se­cure his con­tract.

He next plays a spade to his ten and leads a di­a­mond – catch­ing West in a dilemma.

If he plays low, de­clarer will play dummy’s king then re­sort to clubs, com­ing to nine tricks.

If West rises with the ace of di­a­monds and con­tin­ues hearts, South will win the ace of hearts and then can play a di­a­mond to dummy’s ten and los­ing to East’s jack.

East re­turns a club, but South will rise with the ace, com­ing to ten tricks with three spade win­ners, two hearts, four di­a­mond tricks and the ace of clubs.

By play­ing a di­a­mond at trick three, de­clarer caught West in a Mor­ton’s Fork.

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