Click to follow
The Independent Culture
A FEW days ago I described how South made Four Hearts doubled after a mis-defence. Could he always have made his contract after the lead of #K?

This has been the bidding:

South West North East

1NT pass 2D dble

2H 3D 3H pass

pass 4D 4H pass

pass dble All pass

Try this. Win with#A, lead a heart to the ace, cash the two top spades, ruff a diamond and exit with a trump to West's king. He now has two possibilities. If he cashes 2A, he finds himself end-played into either leading a club away from his queen or conceding a ruff and discard (nor is 210 any better). So it looks as though his best bet is to exit with 2Q, preserving his two club tricks and apparently avoiding an immediate endplay.

In fact this gives South two chances. After winning with 2K, he can duck a club completely to West, again end-playing him, or, more elegantly, exit with a spade. East wins and plays another spade but dummy discards a club instead of ruffing! Now it is East who is end-played - when he gives the ruff and discard, dummy's last club goes away.

Is that all? No! Suppose West plays 4K on the first trump lead (a dangerous play, for his partner may have 4Q singleton). Now it is East who wins the next trump - he can safely play spades and is still in touch with his partner's 2A. Just one round of spades by declarer first? No good, for when in with 2A West will still have a safe spade exit.