Even the ace follows the rule
A.N. Onymous said, “A Smith & Wesson always beats four aces.”
However, people who are aces in their field tend to follow their own beat. They are capable of doing things at which lesser players can only marvel. In bridge, an ace is the highest-ranking card in a suit; but at times it must follow the guidelines that apply to lesser cards. This deal is similar to yesterday’s, in that the contract, two hearts, and the opening lead, the club three, are the same, but South’s spades have been strengthened from jack-doubleton to king-doubleton, and his trumps have been weakened slightly. The defenders take two clubs and one spade, then exit with a spade to South’s king. Declarer crosses to the board with a diamond and leads the heart 10. What should happen now? Remember, North’s two-heart rebid indicated 6-9 points and only a doubleton heart. (With three hearts, he would have raised one heart to two hearts, not responded one spade.) We have learned that it is usually correct for a defender to cover the only honor when it is led from the dummy -- and that applies to this deal. To have a chance to defeat two hearts, East must take the heart 10 with his ace. Yes, South can still get home if he guesses to endplay West, but he probably will not. (The curious may work it out.) However, if declarer is allowed to run the heart 10 to West’s queen, the contract will be safe. South will win a club lead in the dummy and play another trump, when East’s ace catches only low cards. Declarer’s remaining hearts will all be winners.