Gettysburg Times – 12 Mar 1992
Both vulnerable. North deals.
Opening lead: 8
When the opponents don’t find the best attack, be careful not to surrender your advantage by playing in too fast. Spend some time looking for the winning option. North’s leap into the stratophere had the advantage of simplicity, and revealed little about the hand. That worked out well when declarer received a favorable lead. Unfortunately, South failed to capitalize on the lucky break.
Declarer won the first trick with the ace, cashed the ace of clubs and came to hand with a club ruff. After discarding a diamond on the king of spades, declarer tried the heart finesse. That lost, and East shrewdly returned a trump. Declarer won on the table and ruffed another club, but when that suit split 4-2, as was to be expected, declarer had to concede a club for down one.
A diamond lead would have forced declarer to rely on the trump finesse. Having escaped that fate, declarer could have put the North-South assets to better use. After discarding a diamond on the king of spades, declarer should ruff a spade in dummy and lead another club. It does not help East to ruff with the king, so the defender must discard and declarer can ruff low. A diamond ruff is followed by another club lead, and again East must discard as declarer ruffs.
Once more dummy is entered with a ruff, either in spades or diamonds, depending on East’s discards, and another club lead allows declarer to ruff with the jack as East comes down to nothing but three trumps. When declarer now leads a plain card and discards the ten of clubs from dummy, East must ruff perforce and lead a trump away from the king into dummy’s A Q tenace. Making six-odd.