The temptation must be resisted
Reverend W.M. Taylor said, “Temptation rarely comes in working hours. It is in their leisure time that men are made or marred.”
For most players, bridge is a leisure-time activity; it is work only for the pros. However, both sometimes face a tempting play that is wrong. Those who can resist that temptation will, in theory at least, do better. In today’s deal, what is the tempting play that East must resist? South is in three no-trump, and West leads a fourth-highest spade four. It was normal for North to employ Stayman to try to find a 4-4 heart fit; but when South denied a major, all North had done was give the defenders extra information about declarer’s hand. At trick one, many an East would cover dummy’s spade five with the seven. However, when third hand’s highest card is below a nine, he should resist the temptation to play third hand high; he should give count. So, with a tripleton, he should play his lowest: here, the two. Even if dummy’s five wins the trick (declarer having started with, say, K-J-3), it will not matter.
In this deal, though, when West learns that his partner has three spades (it cannot be one, because South denied four spades in the auction), he knows South began with king-jack-doubleton. So, when in with the club king, he cashes his spade ace to drop the king and runs the suit to defeat the contract. Note that this give-count play applies to both no-trump and suit contracts. Play low with an odd number or high with an even number.