South discarded a spade on the heart ace, drew the only outstanding trump and led a diamond for the king and ace, N-S +420.
West had hoped to score three defensive tricks and defeat the contract but was somewhat surprised by the result. Suppose that he begins with the ace of diamonds. It may not be absolutely clear that he must cash the ace of spades to hold declarer to the contract.
West's defense will be critical if the opponents drive to slam. What would he lead? The ace of spades would be successful because he would swiftly follow with the ace of diamonds to defeat the slam.
The selection of the king of hearts would be an unmitigated disaster. The ace of diamonds as an opening shot would work as long as he continues with the ace of spades.
E-W own an undisclosed tencard heart fit but the vulnerability is unfavorable. East must lose two spades, a diamond and the ace of hearts, rendering a five-level sacrifice a notch too high.
East declined any action at this vulnerability but there are players who would wade in with a pre-emptive two hearts or perhaps offer a weak jump raise of diamonds. Author: Dave Willis - visit his website at www.insidebridge.ca Questions on bridge can be sent with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to The New Canadian Bridge c/o Torstar Syndication Services, One Yonge St., Toronto, M5E 1E6.