The Morning Call (Sunday)
A delicate auction led to a final contract of five clubs. Three no-trump would have been better, with 10 top tricks, but it was hard for either player to bid it with only a singleton heart.
The problem in five clubs is how to avoid two diamond losers and one spade loser. A low spade toward the jack would work on this lie of the cards but would fail on a different lie. There is a line of play available that guarantees the contract. Can you spot it?
South should win the opening heart lead with dummy’s ace, draw trumps in three rounds ending in dummy, and lead a low diamond. Should East play low, South plays his eight, losing to an honor with West. West must lead either a spade or a diamond to avoid giving a ruff-sluff. On a diamond lead, South wins whatever honor is played by an opponent and leads his nine of diamonds to drive out the remaining high diamond. The 10 in dummy is established for a spade discard.
Should West lead a spade instead, South just plays low from dummy and has three sure spade tricks — enough to discard a diamond from his hand if necessary. It is always rewarding, as declarer, when you find a sure trick line of play for your contract.