Bridge column, April 23: Do not take an extra risk
This suggests that the older you get, the better you will play bridge because the longer you will think at trick one.
In this deal, how should South plan the play in six spades? West leads the heart queen to declarer's bare ace.
South's one-spade response showed at least a five-card suit. (He would have made a negative double with only four spades.) North was a tad aggressive jumping to four spades without a fourth trump. South control-bid (cue-bid) five hearts, looking for a slam. And North, with three aces, took the plunge -- there's no holding some people back!
South can play to establish either dummy's club suit or his diamond suit.
Here, the club line fails. And playing on diamonds requires care. The correct play is a diamond to dummy's ace, followed by the diamond queen. East wins and returns a heart. Declarer trumps, ruffs a diamond with dummy's spade 10, plays a spade to his king, trumps another diamond with the spade ace, cashes the club ace, ruffs a club, draws trumps, and claims.
Note that if South is tempted by the diamond finesse at trick two, he goes down with this layout. The play continues heart ruff, diamond to the ace, trump to hand, diamond ruff, club ace, club ruff, diamond ruff. But now declarer is stranded in the dummy. If he ruffs a club low, West overruffs. If South ruffs a club high, West's spade nine is promoted.
Take your time.
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