Opening lead: king of hearts
The bidding by the opponents sometimes draws a road map that steers declarer directly to his destination. For example, suppose you wind up in three spades on this deal after the bidding shown and West leads the K-A-8 of hearts, which you ruff.
It seems likely at this point — since West doubled one spade for takeout — that West has the ace of diamonds and king of clubs. It follows that if you play the hand in the normal way — that is, draw trumps and lead a low club from dummy to your queen — you might wind up losing five tricks and go down one. Indeed, if you adopted this line of play in the actual case, that is exactly what would happen to you.
But you should not play the hand in this fashion under the given circumstances. It is far better to arrange the play so as to take advantage of the information gained from West’s double.
The best approach is to lead a trump to the jack at trick four and ruff dummy’s last heart. Then cash the king of trumps, and when both defenders follow suit, you are all set to apply the coup de grace.
At trick six, you lead a low club towards dummy’s jack. If West goes up with the king, you score three club tricks and cannot lose more than one diamond. So let’s assume West plays the four of clubs instead.
In that case, you win with dummy’s jack and return a club to your eight. West wins with the nine but is stymied. It doesn’t matter whether he returns a club into your A-Q or leads a diamond — either way, you lose only one diamond trick and make the contract.
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