A SIMILAR DANGER AND ANTIDOTE
Marcus Buckingham is an English author who bases most of his writing on extensive survey data from interviews with workers in countries around the world. He said, "When you feel as though you can't do something, the simple antidote is action: Begin doing it. Start the process, even if it's just a simple step, and don't stop at the beginning."
This is yesterday's deal rotated by 90 degrees. Then, East was in five spades after South had led his singleton diamond. To make the contract, East won the first trick in the dummy, led the heart king and discarded his singleton club to stop North from getting on lead -- a textbook scissors coup. Today, South is in five hearts doubled. After West leads the spade seven, what should declarer do?
South might have opened four hearts, but that would have risked missing a slam if his partner had a useful hand. After North responded one no-trump, East jumped to four spades, of course. Now South felt that he had to bid five hearts, which West was happy to double. East thought about overruling his partner and pulling to five spades, but eventually chose to pass.
It is easy to overlook the danger to this contract. Suppose South wins with the spade ace, ruffs his second spade and plays on trumps. West gets in with his king and leads a diamond to partner. Then a spade through declarer promotes West's heart 10 as the setting trick.
Instead, South, after ruffing the second spade, should lead a heart to his ace, then play three rounds of clubs, discarding his sole diamond to cut the defenders' communications -- another scissors coup.