Play it again, Sam
From a rubber-bridge game comes this deal where the play was not precisely a model of perfection. West led the diamond king against four hearts doubled,
East playing the deuce. West then shifted to the king of clubs, East signaling with the eight. Declarer ruffed the club continuation, led the spade jack to the king and successfully finessed the jack of trumps.
At this point, it seemed to South that he was about to make his contract with an overtrick. But when he next led a low spade to dummy’s nine to repeat the trump finesse, the hand collapsed. East ruffed the spade, led a diamond to his partner and ruffed another spade, and South wound up down two for a loss of 300 points.
The play by both sides was deficient. East could have ensured defeating the contract had he overtaken West’s king of clubs with the ace at trick two and returned his singleton spade. From his viewpoint, this play would guarantee him a trump trick, since there could then be no way for declarer to take two trump finesses without subjecting himself to a spade ruff.
However, declarer failed to capitalize on East’s blunder at trick two. He should have taken steps to guard against a possible 4-1 spade division. After ruffing the club at trick three, South should next have led a diamond! This play would have rendered the defense helpless.
Let’s say that whichever defender wins the diamond returns a club. Declarer ruffs and trumps a diamond in dummy. He then takes his first heart finesse, returns to dummy with a spade and takes a second heart finesse, thus making four hearts doubled. The outcome is the same if the opponents shift to a spade after winning the diamond.
Occasionally, bridge resembles soccer, with the ball getting kicked back and forth almost aimlessly.