Another bad break to cause trouble
Emmeline Pankhurst, who was the most well-known English suffragette, said, “We are here, not because we are law-breakers; we are here in our efforts to become law-makers.” Yesterday, we looked at the “law” for a defender who is long in trumps: Try to make declarer ruff; do not look for ruffs yourself. Does that also apply in today’s deal, where South is in four hearts? In the auction, South had no particular reason to rebid three clubs. If the opponents did compete to four spades, he planned to double. His hand did not suggest it would be necessary to go to the fivelevel, especially with that dangerous doubleton spade, which surely meant two immediate losers.
West was tempted to make a speculative double of four hearts, and if he had held the heart ace instead of the diamond ace, it would have been reasonable.
West, whose partner surely has no entry card, should lead off with his three top spades. What should South do next? If trumps are 3-2, South can ruff the third spade, draw trumps, drive out the diamond ace, and claim 10 tricks via five hearts, one diamond and four clubs. But what if hearts are 4-1? Then declarer must be careful. After ruffing at trick three, he should cash dummy’s two high trumps, the honors from the shorter side first. When the 4-1 break comes to light, South must establish his diamond winner while there is still a trump on the board. West can take declarer’s diamond king with his ace and lead another spade, but South ruffs in the dummy, plays a club to his hand, draws West’s remaining trumps, and claims.