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"Ah," thought South, "finally an easy one." Looks like there are plenty of points and plenty of tricks. On hands that look too easy, a good player will ask himself — "What can go wrong?" South on today's deal would have been wise to do just that.

Declarer won the opening spade lead in dummy, perforce, and led the queen of diamonds for a finesse. He was imagining an easy overtrick or two. The queen held the trick and he continued with a low diamond, winning East's 10 with the ace. South suddenly realized that this might not be so easy after all. The spade king could not be cashed at this point without setting up three tricks for the defense and he had no sure entry to cash it later.

South played a third diamond, counting on East to return his partner's suit. East was immune to South's mind-control attempts and shifted accurately to the 10 of clubs. Sharp defense from this point — never playing a second round of spades — defeated the contract by one trick.

The winning solution is easy enough to see if you only want nine tricks. Declarer should allow East to hold the trick with his 10 of diamonds! No continuation can hurt him and he would have established the diamonds while retaining an entry to the king of spades.

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