Get out from under your own feet
Robert Orben, a comedy writer, penned: “Every speaker has a mouth; / An arrangement rather neat. / Sometimes it’s filled with wisdom. / Sometimes it’s filled with feet.”
There are times at the bridge table when you feel as though you must get out from under your own feet. In this deal, for example, South is in four spades. West leads the heart ace and continues with the heart king. Everything looks so easy, but what must declarer do?
North made a support double over West’s two-heart intervention, which showed exactly three-card spade support, but did not define his point-count. South, with an opening bid of his own, jumped to game, trusting that North would bid more in the unlikely event that he had extra values, and West had made a very weak vulnerable overcall.
The contract looked easy, with South apparently having 10 winners via five spades and five clubs. But after ruffing the heart king, cashing his spade ace and playing a spade to dummy’s king, East’s diamond discard was a blow.
South paused, then saw the solution. He cashed two top clubs, then finished remov- ing West’s trumps, and declarer, on the fourth round of spades, ditched dummy’s last club. South took three more tricks with his remaining high clubs to make his contract.
Finally, note that if East had bravely raised hearts, despite zero points and being vulnerable, West might have taken the push to five hearts, knowing that East was very short in spades.
Five hearts doubled goes down two, or perhaps only one if North does not lead a trump very early in the defense to cut down those spade ruffs.