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West cashed a sec­ond spade but switched to a di­a­mond for dummy's ten. South was only able to scram­ble five tricks and the con­tract fin­ished down four, N-S -800.

South's de­ci­sion to over­call at the three-level with an ema­ci­ated five-card suit was sui­ci­dal on this lay­out. E-W own a nine-card spade fit but the va­garies of the play and de­fense make it dif­fi­cult to guess how many tricks West would win. A trump lead would be best where West would strug­gle might­ily.

It is far from clear that E-W would land in spades when South passes the weak-two bid. West could ad­vance to two spades but this ac­tion would be forc­ing and might cul­mi­nate in high level trou­ble when East holds spade short­ness. West may take a dim view of his col­lec­tion af­ter the weak two bid by his part­ner and opt to pass in search of a small plus score.

East should man­age eight tricks at hearts for a mod­est +110.

Too many players bid over pre-empts with­out the proper val­ues and South's ac­tion on this deal re­sulted in a disas­ter that could have been avoided. He would have opened the bid­ding as dealer but to wade in at the three-level was in­com­pre­hen­si­ble.

Ques­tions on bridge can be sent with a stamped, self-ad­dressed en­ve­lope to The New Cana­dian Bridge c/o Torstar Syn­di­ca­tion Ser­vices, One Yonge St., Toronto, M5E 1E6.

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