Today’s deal is from a recent tournament in Europe. Many pairs reached six diamonds, and some declarers were favored with the lead of the ace of spades. They had no problem bringing home 12 tricks.
A number of declarers faced a heart lead. Many of them played dummy’s jack. They would be all but home free if the jack held the trick. They perhaps didn’t recognize just how important it was to choose the right card from dummy. East covered with the queen and those South players won with the ace and led the king of clubs. East won and returned a heart to dummy’s king. A diamond to the ace was followed by the queen of clubs, shedding a heart from dummy. Declarer now tried to ruff a heart and two clubs in dummy, but West ruffed the fourth club with the 10 of trumps for down one.
When Norway’s Nils Kvangraven played the deal, he rose with dummy’s king of hearts at trick one and led dummy’s singleton club. Good choice! East could not defeat the contract whether he rose with his ace or ducked it. Should West have the ace of clubs, Kvangraven would still be able to lead the king of spades from dummy later, hoping that East held that ace. It was not likely that West, who was on opening lead and didn’t double the final contract, held two aces.