Try to picture a winning layout
Vincent Van Gogh, whose paintings I really enjoy, said, “A good picture is equivalent to a good deed.”
If you were the declarer in today’s deal and made your three-no-trump contract, partner would certainly think it was a good deed. Well, what should South do after West leads the spade king?
North added a couple of extra points for his long suit and took a shot at three no-trump. Note that five diamonds had no chance. South seems to have nine winners via one spade, six diamonds and two clubs. But the bad diamond break is troubling.
Declarer ducks the first two spades, takes the third spade, cashes the diamond king and continues with the diamond jack, planning on overtaking with dummy’s queen. But West’s heart discard is a nasty deed. What now? South has to let his diamond jack hold the trick, then try to get into the dummy to cash the rest of the diamonds. The easy part to picture is that East must have the heart ace and heart king. Declarer also needs spades to be 5-3, not 4-4. But then comes the step that is much harder to realize. He also needs East to have at most a doubleton club.
At tricks six and seven, declarer must cash his club winners. Then he leads a low heart to dummy’s 10 or overtakes his jack with dummy’s queen. Here, East cannot defeat the contract.
Did you notice the very difficult deed missed by West? If, at trick three, he had shifted to a heart, East could have played three rounds of the suit to kill dummy’s entry.