If you give up for a second, that’s where you’ll finish. A defender can’t put his brain in power-saving mode just because he holds a weak hand.
Today’s West led the queen of spades against South’s four hearts, and South played low from dummy. East, who had despaired of winning the rubber when he picked up his hand, signaled listlessly with the eight.
South won the next spade, drew trumps, and led the ace and then a low diamond. West took his king and counted 10 tricks for declarer: seven trumps, a spade and two diamonds. So West cashed his ace of clubs, hoping East had the king, but South claimed the rest. Making four.
East blew his one chance to affect the result. Since West’s double suggested at least three cards in spades, East had nothing to lose — and much to gain — by overtaking the queen of spades with his king at trick one.
East then shifts to a club up to weakness. West takes the ace and jack, exits safely and scores a diamond trick later. 2010, Tribune Media Services