“Simple Saturday” columns are meant to improve basic technique and develop logical thinking.
As declarer, start by counting winners (usually at a notrump contract or a low-level suit contract) or losers (at a high-level suit contract where you shouldn’t have many losers to count). But it may help you to count both winners and losers at any level.
Today’s West led the jack of hearts against four spades, and South saw four possible losers: two diamonds and two clubs. He ruffed in dummy, led a trump to his hand and tried a club to dummy’s ten.
East took the jack and returned a club. When West won and shifted to the ten of diamonds, South had to lose two diamonds for down one.
South was overly concerned with losers and forgot to count winners. He has six trumps in dummy, two club ruffs in his hand and the ace of diamonds. To get a 10th trick, all South must do is discard a diamond from dummy at Trick One. When East takes the ace, South’s king scores later.