Kingman Daily Miner – 19 Jun 1980
North dealer. North-South vulnerable.
Opening lead — king of clubs.
If a contract can be made only when the defenders’ cards are divided in a certain way, declarer must play for that distribution to exist. He lays his plans accordingly, and dismisses other distributions from his mind. Here is a typical case.
West leads the king of clubs, won in dummy with the ace. The situation is far from promising, since it is theoretically possible to lose three hearts, a club and a diamond. However, there is a good chance that West, who overcalled, has the king of diamonds, in which case one loser can be lopped of.
Furthermore, dummy’s fourth diamond offers the prospect of saving still another trick. But is latter possibility is somewhat complicated by the built-in block in diamonds. Thus, suppose declarer draws trumps right away and leads the diamond queen.
Whether West plays the king on this trick or the next, South finds it impossible to utilize dummy’s fourth diamond and he goes down one. This threatening complication should start South on a train of thought that will lead him to the proper solution. He should cash the Q-J of trumps and then lead the queen of diamonds, leaving one trump at large.
It does not matter whether or not West covers; in either event South cashes three diamonds in succession. As it happens, West does not have the missing trump to ruff the third diamond and South makes the contract, since he can now enter dummy with a trump and discard a loser on the nine of diamonds.
It is true that declarer runs the risk of the second or third diamond lead being ruffed, but, because making the contract is his primary consideration, he plays the hand on the basis that the winning distribution actually exists.