This series will cover common mistakes in bidding and play and I will start with a humdinger. South’s first mistake was his four spade bid. With a solid five card suit he really should have let his partner play three no trump, although four spades should have been just as successful a contract.

His second mistake was to rush ahead with his play without planning how to gather in his 10 tricks and his third and most serious mistake was to pull trumps too soon.

NORTH (Dealer) No one vulnerable

Opening lead—8

He won the opening heart in dummy, drew four rounds of trumps while discarding a heart and a club from dummy, led the deuce of diamonds and stuck in dummy’s ten. East won with the king and played a second heart to pull South in dummy again.

A low diamond from dummy lost to the ace whereupon South smiled happily and said. «Over-trick coming up, partner.» He was just as wrong in his analysis as in his play. East led a third heart and South had to use his last trump to ruff. Now he cashed dummy’s queen of diamonds and suddenly found that the only other trick he could make would be the ace of clubs.

He had no way to get to the two good diamonds in his hand. If South had bothered to plan his play at trick two he would have led a diamond from dummy without caring about who had the high ones. He would have continued diamonds each time he got in and there would have been, no defense to beat him.