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It’s not unusual that in a given deal, the victor is the player who makes the next-to-last error.

In a team match, both Souths played at five clubs doubled. At one table, West led the ace of spades and sat back to wait for his two trump tricks.

The other West led his singleton diamond. South won with the ace and took the A-K of hearts to pitch his spade. He next led a trump, but after West took the queen and ace, he led the queen of hearts. South had to lose a diamond to East, down one again.

I couldn’t say that the second West’s opening lead was an error. North could have held the king of trumps instead of South, and East could have had the king of spades as an entry to give West a diamond ruff.

South made the final – and fatal – error. After he takes the top hearts, he can ruff a heart and lead the king of trumps. After West takes the A-Q, he is end-played. If he leads the ace of spades, South ruffs and discards his losing diamond on dummy’s king.

You hold: ´ K 5 ™ A K 4 2 © K 10 6 5 2 ® 10 6. The dealer, at your right, opens one spade. You double, and your partner responds two clubs. What do you say?

A: Since a club response by partner would be unwelcome, not everyone would have doubled with your hand. Now that you have doubled, you must accept the consequences of partner’s response. Pass. A further bid such as two diamonds or 2NT would promise extra strength that you don’t have.

West dealer

Neither side vulnerable

NORTH

´ K 5

™ A K 4 2

© K 10 6 5 2

® 10 6

WEST EAST

´ A 9 8 6 4 3 2 ´ Q J 7

™ Q 9 7 ™ 10 8 6 5 3

© 7 © Q J 9 4

® A Q ® 8

SOUTH

´ 10

™ J

© A 8 3

® K J 9 7 5 4 3 2

West North East South

1 ´ Dbl 2 ´ 5 ®

Dbl All Pass

Opening lead – Choose it