Which suit should you try first?
Jennifer Hudson, a singer and actress, said, “Extreme exercise doesn’t save you from poor food choices. It can be difficult to exercise and erase away that chocolate cake or pizza pie. It doesn’t work that way.” In today’s deal, declarer faces a choice of side suit to attack first. Which should he select? South is in six hearts. West leads a trump from a low doubleton. East takes the trick and returns his remaining spade. How should South continue?
South opened with a weak twobid. North, trusting that his partner would have a good suit at the prevailing unfavorable vulnerability, jumped straight to six spades. This had the side advantage of keeping East out of the auction.
South starts with 10 top tricks: five spades, three hearts and two clubs. It looks so obvious to take the second trump, cash the heart queen (the honor from the shorter side first), and play a heart to dummy’s king. Here, though, when the suit splits 5-1, the contract is in tatters. It doesn’t work that way.
Instead, declarer should play on clubs first. He takes dummy’s two tops. Are they 5-1? If so, South shifts to hearts, hoping for a 3-3 or 4-2 break. Here, though, everyone follows suit. Now declarer ruffs a club (West discards a diamond), cashes his heart queen, plays a heart to the king, ruffs another club, returns to the dummy by ruffing a diamond, and cashes both the last club and the heart ace. South takes five spades, three hearts, three clubs and the diamond ruff.