DO NOT BE AFRAID OF A SHORTAGE
Doug Larson, a columnist and editor, said, “If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of ...” what?
Sometimes you seem to be in a contract with a shortage of trumps. Then, after assuming that partner misbid again, you must decide whether it is better to play on trumps to reduce the number of tricks the opponents can take in the suit, or to try to score as many ruffing tricks as you can.
Which approach is better for South in this two-spade contract after West leads the diamond nine?
Unusually, the auction looks perfect! Yes, East is stronger than he might have been, but to double two spades would have been dangerous. Here, it would have left West the unpleasant choice between minus 470 (two spades doubled and made) and minus 500 (three hearts doubled down two; surely North would have doubled).
South took East’s diamond queen (a silly play that did not cost) with the king and played his heart. West won with the ace and led his second diamond. Declarer put up dummy’s ace and played a spade to the king and ace. The defenders continued with a club to the ace, a diamond ruff, the club king, a club ruff and a fourth diamond, which promoted another trump trick for down two.
With winners outside spades and reasonably strong trumps, South should have played on spades. After three rounds, he could have attacked clubs and eventually lost only two spades, one heart and two clubs.
Larson said that there would be a shortage of fishing poles!