Sometimes the underlying theme of a hand is not immediately apparent. Ideally, declarer should not play until a good plan is identified but sometimes a less than ideal plan is sufficiently attractive to start playing. Here West led the KD to declarer’s bare ace.
Declarer saw that he needed to do one of four things: either make a second heart trick, or make a club trick, or ruff a club in the dummy, or play the trumps for no losers. The problem is which of these alternatives to attempt and how to achieve one of them as safely as possible. It appears from the bidding that both the heart and trump finesses might well fail, so declarer turned his attention to clubs hoping to keep the trump finesse as a last option. Playing a low club from hand would succeed if West had started with ace and king of clubs, but that also seemed an unlikely proposition. Can you see how to proceed? Teams, Both vul, Dealer West
It was only when considering the club play that declarer had the sudden insight that this was a simple avoidance play problem. He had to keep East off lead when the club ace and king were split to prevent the defence from playing two rounds of trumps. So he crossed to dummy with the ace of hearts and led the seven of clubs from the table. If East had played the ace or king of clubs this would have allowed declarer to develop a club trick. In practice, East played a low club and declarer contributed the jack, which West took with the ace. As West could not lead a trump without sacrificing his trick in the suit, he opted to try and cash a diamond. Declarer ruffed, then played the two of clubs to dummy’s queen and East’s king. East now played the expected trump to try to stop the club ruff but it was too late. Declarer rose with the ace of trumps and ruffed the six of clubs in dummy. Declarer now claimed, conceding a trick to the king of trumps.
This play only works because declarer has the jack and queen of clubs and can trap the defender by both threatening to ruff a club and setting one up. Note that the first club must be led from dummy.