South opened One Spade, West overcalled with Two Diamonds, and North raised to Two Spades. South went on to Four Spades and West led his singleton heart against the spade game.
What had looked to be a reasonable healthy contract took a distinct turn for the worse when East won and gave his partner a ruff by returning the seven of hearts. This was a clear
suit preference signal for a
diamond - and West obliged
with the queen of diamonds,
taken by declarer's ace.
It was clear that playing on trumps would not help (the defenders win and cash a diamond for the setting trick) but there was still just a chance. Declarer crossed to the ace of clubs and led the jack of hearts from the table.
Convinced that his partner would be able to ruff this, East, carefully preserving his queen, played low. Sure enough, West was able to ruff but only with the ace of trumps and after South's losing diamond had gone away.
There would have been no escape for declarer if East had covered the jack of hearts with his queen, for if he ruffs it is a simple matter for West to over- ruff with his ace and cash the setting diamond trick.Reuse content