ACES ON BRIDGE
In today’s deal from a teams game, both declarers reached four spades and received a trump lead. At one table, South decided to play for club ruffs. He won the first trick with the jack from dummy and played a club to his queen. West returned a second trump after winning the club ace, East pitching the diamond two. South won in hand and ruffed a club, then had to decide how to return to hand. Believing his opponents’ signals, he crossed to the diamond ace, then ruffed his last club, and now carefully played the ace and a second heart. Had he played a diamond first, West would have won his king and led a heart, and could not then have been denied a diamond ruff. As it was, South could subsequently ruff a heart high to hand and draw the last trump, for 10 tricks. South was optimistic about his chances of a swing, but in the other room, declarer won the first spade in hand and ducked a heart. East won to play a diamond, and declarer finessed unsuccessfully. That let West play a second trump. South won the spade in hand to play the heart ace and ruff a heart high, then used the trump entry to dummy to ruff out hearts. He could later ruff one club loser in dummy and pitch one on the fifth heart, to score six trump tricks, two hearts and two diamonds. If defenders had won the diamond king to play back a club instead, South could have ruffed two clubs in dummy to come to 10 tricks.