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After a duplicate event, the talk in the club lounge turned to today's deal. Every North-South pair had reached four hearts.

"When I was South, the opening lead was a spade," Cy the Cynic offered. "I won, returned a spade and later ruffed a spade in dummy to make 10 tricks."

"Good for you," Unlucky Louie grumbled. "Against me they found the killing opening lead: a trump. I took the ace and led a spade, but the man won and cashed the K-Q of trumps. I lost another spade and went down."

"You think a trump lead was the killer?" I asked. Louie eyed me warily.

"At the table I watched," I said, "'South took the second trump and cashed the ace of diamonds. He got to dummy three times with clubs to ruff diamonds, then led a fourth club. East refused to ruff; but South next led dummy's last trump, and East had to lead from the king of spades."

Tough game, bridge. With a spade lead South takes 10 tricks; the "killing" trump lead gives him a chance for 11.

South dealer

Neither side vulnerable
Q 10
4 3 2
10 9 7 6
A K J 10
9 8 6 5 3
10 9
K 4 3 2
5 4
K J 7
Q J 8 5
9 3 2
A 4 2
A 8 7 6 5
Q 8 7 6
South West North East
1 Pass 2 Pass
3 Pass 3 Pass
4 All Pass
Opening lead -- 10

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