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Mail Puzles

You are East, declarer in 3NT, against which South leads ♠6, with North playing ♠Q. How would you plan the play, and why? This is one of the occasions on which the Rule of Eleven helps declarer more than the defence. You have seen North’s only spade higher than the one led; taking this a stage further, south is now marked with a suit headed by A-10. You obviously plan to take the diamond finesse as soon as you gain the lead and, when this loses and you’ve won the first trick with ♠K, North plays back a spade through your J9, and your contract fails. Most declarers would fall for this temptation, but the ‘expert’ is going to duck the first trick, and you are safe. if North is still able to return spades when he wins ♦K, the suit will have divided 4-3, and you will only have four losers.