. Dale’s Inclination to play no—trump contracts got him into trouble on this hand. Five diamonds were cold against any defense, but the three no trump contract was defeated on a neat bit of thinking by Mr. Masters.

South Dealer, Both Sides Vulnerable

The opening lead was the four of spades. A small card was played from dummy and Mr. Masters jack was smothered by the ace.

Club Discard

Mr. Dale now led the ace of diamonds and continued with a small diamond. On this last trick Mr. Champion showed out, discarding a club. Dummy’s king of diamonds was put up and the Jack returned, Mr. Masters winning the queen. Mr. Champion discarded another club.

After a few moments thought Mr. Masters laid down the ace of hearts, dropping the lone king from the closed hand. Mr. Champion could not afford to signal with a high heart and was forced to play the usually discouraging deuce.

But Mr. Masters continued with the trey of hearts anyway and his partner won with the queen and pushed the nine through dummy’s ten spot to make sure of four heart tricks for his side.

The reasoning

Why did Mr. Masters decide to bang down the ace of hearts instead of returning his partner’s spade lead? Can he see through the backs of the cards? No. His play was based on the following reasoning. When the four of spades was opened, he could see the trey in his hand and the deuce on the board.

Therefore Mr. Champion had, started with just four spades.

Point No. 2: If Mr. Champion. had held a suit of more than four cards it was very probable that he would have opened that suit.

Point No. 3: Mr. Champion showed up with a singleton diamond.

What distribution is indicated when a player has a singleton and no suit longer than four cards? There is only one such distribution. It is 4-4-4-1. So Mr. Masters figured his partner for four hearts. And since he himself had four and there were four in the dummy, Mr. Date had exactly one.