All of us have a “resultish” streak. Bridge players — and bridge writers — tend to be more impressed with a good play when it works than when it doesn’t.
I see endless examples of successful dummy play and defense written up, but I rarely see a losing play applauded in print even when it was theoretically correct.
When I watched today’s deal in a penny game, South was Ed, my club’s best player. Against the bold six spades, West led the jack of hearts, and Ed won with the ace and knew he had to make something of dummy’s long clubs. He took the A-K, discarding a diamond, and led a third club from dummy. East threw a diamond, and declarer ruffed.
Ed next took the king of trumps and led a second trump. When West followed low, Ed played dummy’s ten! East gratefully took his jack and led a diamond, but Ed produced the ace, drew the missing trump with dummy’s ace and ran the clubs to discard his remaining diamonds. Making six.
“Could have made seven,” was all North said.
Safety plays often appear to be aberrations because they protect against a fatal loss at the cost of losing an unnecessary trick. Ed’s play safeguarded the slam against a trump holding of J-9-8-3 with West. If East showed out on the second trump, Ed would start to run the clubs. When West ruffed, Ed could win any return, draw West’s last trump with the ace and finish the clubs.
As for North, he was not only a result merchant, he was a poor technician as well as a poor partner.