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Today's deal occurred during a tournament in Monte Carlo. How do you think the play should go in both four hearts and six clubs, West leading a diamond in each case?

North's two-spade rebid guaranteed at least a five-card suit and was forcing. The last two bids, South's four hearts and North's pass, were debatable, but let's get to the play.

Against four hearts, the defense began with two rounds of diamonds. South ruffed, drew all of the trumps (East discarding two spades) and cashed the club ace. When West showed out, South had to finish down one.

Suppose instead that South plays the club ace at trick three. West ruffs and leads another diamond. Declarer ruffs, cashes the heart ace, plays a trump to dummy's queen and finesses in clubs. West may ruff with his last heart, but South still has a trump left, and the spade ace is in the dummy to allow a second club finesse. It's the old story of declarer's establishing his side suit first when he holds a two-suiter.

Playing in six clubs, if the defense begins with two rounds of diamonds, South has an easy time. He ruffs, cashes the club ace and uses dummy's two entries, the spade ace and heart queen, for two trump finesses.

Instead, East must switch to a spade at trick two. Now declarer has to consider the psychology of the individual. Does East have all four trumps, in which case declarer must take an immediate club finesse? Or has East set a devilish trap, West having the singleton club queen?

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