A card’s moment in the spotlight
Freddie Mercury, the late lead singer of the rock band Queen, said, “I designed the Queen crest. I simply combined all the creatures that represent our star signs — and I don’t even believe in astrology.”
Over time, each card will have its day in the spotlight. Which card gets that honor here? Against four spades, West leads the heart ace. What happens after that?
Over South’s one-spade opening bid, West might have made a takeout double. It would have risked East’s advancing in clubs with only a four-card suit. Here, though, the double would have worked fine because East would have bid hearts. Note that four hearts is laydown for EastWest. When West passed, North correctly upgraded his hand to a game-force, first showing his excellent club suit, then jumping to four spades. (Note that the auction is the same in two-overone, North’s four-spade rebid indicating a minimum gameforce.)
When West sees the dummy, it should be clear to him that his side must immediately take two hearts and two diamonds — but how?
East’s job at trick one is to say whether he does or does not hold the heart queen, the honor touching those promised by West’s ace lead. If East does not, he plays his lowest heart. If he does, he plays the highest heart he can afford, which here is the queen. This shows the queen and the jack. (It cannot be a singleton queen, because that would give South six hearts.)
This should give West the key: At trick two, he leads a low heart to put his partner on lead for the fatal diamond-queen shift.