Keeping up good ruffing work
What is a ruff? The answer you get will depend on the person.
Some will mention the item of clothing that was popular from the mid-16th to mid-17th century.
Others might comment on the wading bird.
A bridge player will talk about winning a trick by using a trump; and he might add that if that ruff does not occur in the longer-trump hand, it will generate an extra trump trick.
How is that relevant in today’s deal? South is in six hearts, and West leads the spade queen to dummy’s bare ace.
North’s three-spade rebid was a splinter, showing fourcard heart support, at least game-going values and a singleton (or void) in spades. Four clubs was a control-bid promising the club ace and expressing slam interest.
South had only eight top tricks: one spade, four hearts, two diamonds and one club. Ruffing spades on the board was dangerous because it risked establishing a trump trick for a defender. Instead, declarer realized that it was better to ruff diamonds in his hand.
South cashed dummy’s diamond ace, ruffed a diamond, played a trump to dummy, ruffed another diamond with the heart ace, drew West’s trumps, ran the rest of the diamonds and conceded a club at the end.
He took one spade, four hearts, four diamonds, one club and the two ruffs.
Note that with this layout, drawing a round of trumps at trick two would have been fatal.