DO NOT GO SLOWLY IF SPEED IS NEEDED
Rupert Murdoch, media tycoon and quadrimarried(!) person, said, “The world is changing very fast. Big will not beat small anymore. It will be the fast beating the slow.”
Surely big will still have the edge over small most of the time. At the bridge table, though, slow and thoughtful will usually defeat fast and careless -- but not always.
How does that apply to this deal? South is in three no-trump. West leads the heart jack: three, two, king. What happens after that?
North followed a textbook transfer sequence, showing exactly five spades and game values.
South, after taking the first trick, unblocks (cashes) his spade honors and continues with a low club. A defender who believes implicitly in second hand low will hasten to contribute his club three, and declarer will claim nine tricks: five spades, three hearts and that club.
When East played the heart two at trick one, he denied an honor in the suit. (With honordoubleton, East would have tabled that high card to tell partner what was happening and, potentially, to unblock the suit.) So, West should immediately credit South with three heart tricks. After seeing the spade ace and king, West can give declarer five spade winners. If South also takes a club trick, he is home.
With nary a nanosecond to spare, West must win the fourth trick, cash his diamond ace (being blind to East’s three; he couldn’t afford to signal higher), and continue the suit. In this way, the defenders quickly take one club and four diamonds to defeat the contract.