The Dallas Morning News



As South, you find yourself in four hearts after North’s fitshowing jump.

West leads the club four, playing third-and-fifth leads; so he has either a singleton or three cards. When you call for the seven from dummy, East covers with the queen. West seems to have jack-third of clubs, and you are in danger of losing at least one trick in each suit even if you negotiate trumps.

You must seek to develop dummy’s diamonds, but you lack a quick entry to the table. If you played a diamond right away, East might win and return a club. You would take the club king but would have to relinquish the lead before disposing of your clubs.

West is highly likely to have a top spade, since he bid the suit. Moreover, the honors are probably split. A diamond play would not work today. You will do better if you create an entry to dummy via a spade ruff, and while doing so, lose the lead to West, the safe hand.

Your best chance is to advance the spade queen from hand at trick two. West may be unable to bring himself to duck if he has the ace rather than the king. If he errs by winning (as happened at the table) and shifts to a diamond, East wins and returns a club — too late. You take the king and ruff a spade to dummy to shed two clubs on the top diamonds.

When the time comes to guess the trumps, you decide that spades should be 6-3; hence, hearts should be 3-1. So after leading dummy’s heart king to East’s ace, you return to the board with a second spade ruff to finesse the heart nine. Ben Norton found this play at the table.

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