I continue a series on saving tricks with end plays. You’re declarer at four hearts, and West leads a club. You figure he has the ace of spades and king of diamonds for his bid, so you’re at risk of losing two spades and two diamonds. What will you do about it?
The actual South saw nothing better than to play West for K-x in diamonds. He took the king of clubs, drew trumps, and led the ace and a low diamond, ducking East’s 10. But West followed low, East shifted to a spade, and the defense got two spades and a second diamond.
South succeeds with an end play. After he draws trumps, he takes the ace of clubs, ruffs a club and leads a low spade. If East wins and leads another spade, West is end-played when he takes the ace.
Say East wins the first spade with the nine and leads the jack of diamonds. South plays low from his hand, takes dummy’s ace and exits with a spade. Then West must cash the king of diamonds, setting up South’s queen, or concede a ruff-sluff.