The Dispatch – 16 May 1989
North dealer East-West vulnerable
Opening lead — 2
As we begin a series on defensive ruffs we should note that most bridge players follow Sir Isaac Newtons principle that a body in motion tends to remain in motion in the same direction. We must therefore agree that it was Newton’s fault that East led a second diamond in today’s hand. Predictably, South ruffed. South then led a trump to drive out the ace.
The defenders eventually got a spade trick, but South made his contract.
Since West clearly had four diamonds for his jump raise, East should know what would happen to a second round of diamonds. East must, instead, shift at the second trick to the king of spades. If West happens to hold A-x-x of spades (even with no other strength), the defenders get two top spades and a spade ruff to defeat the contract before South can get started.
In the actual hand, South takes the ace of spades and leads a heart. West takes the ace of hearts and promptly defeats the contract by leading the queen and another spade.