The time to take a nap is not when you’re defending against a bold game.
Today’s East signaled with the queen on the first heart, and West continued with a low heart. South ruffed the third heart and casually cashed his ace of clubs: seven, three, deuce. He next led a trump to dummy, returned a diamond to his queen, took the ace and got back with a trump to ruff the last diamond.
South then exited with a club. West had to win and lead a red card, and declarer discarded dummy’s last club, ruffed in his hand and claimed.
West must have been catching up on his sleep. When South takes the ace of clubs at Trick Four, West must be awake enough to realize that South can’t have the queen, else he would have retained the chance to finesse.
If West dumps his king of clubs under the ace, South can’t bring off his end play and goes down one.
Question: You hold: ♠ 83 ♥A K 7 2 ♦ J 8 5 4 2 ♣ K 7. Your partner opens one club. The next player bids two spades (preemptive). What do you say?
Answer: A bid of three diamonds would commit you to game. You lack the values for that, but you must do something; the player at your left may be about to raise the spades.
A player in a practiced partnership would make a negative double to show a fair hand (at least) with length and strength in the unbid suits.