New Zealand Listener - - DIVERSIONS - by David Bird

West leads the spade king against your 4H. Part­ner apol­o­gises for his dummy and you ruff in the South hand. When you play the ace and king of trumps you are re­warded with a 2-2 break. How will you play for max­i­mum safety from this point? Only a 4-1 or 5-0 di­a­mond break can put your con­tract at risk. Rather than test this suit im­me­di­ately, you should play ace, king and an­other club. The de­fender who wins is likely to play an­other spade (a di­a­mond re­turn would help you, al­low­ing you to take a fi­nesse). You ruff the spade exit in your hand and lead the jack of di­a­monds. East wins with an hon­our and can­not play an­other di­a­mond or you will guar­an­tee the con­tract with a fi­nesse of the 10. He will have to play a third round of spades. You ruff and exit with the four of di­a­monds. East wins with the seven and is end­played. He will ei­ther have to lead into your A-10 of di­a­monds or give you a ruff-and-dis­card. A heart lead, or a low club lead, would have beaten the con­tract. With no en­tries to dummy, you could not have ar­ranged the re­moval of all dummy’s spades. East would then have had a safe spade exit when you end­played him with a sec­ond round of di­a­monds.

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