Source: “Case for the Defense”

Victor Mollo
Victor Mollo

Wikipedia:Victor Mollo (St Petersburg 17 September 1909 – London 24 September 1987) was a British contract bridge player, journalist and author. He is most famous for his “Menagerie” series of bridge books, depicting vivid caricatures of players with animal names and mannerisms through a series of exciting and entertaining deals—bridge fables of a sort. Mollo attended Cordwalles School but neglected his studies and devoted himself to bridge. As an editor in the European service of the British Broadcasting Corporation, he began to write books and articles on the game. After retirement in 1969, Mollo started to write even more extensively, and up to his death in 1987 he wrote 30 books and hundreds of articles. He was also active in developing bridge cruises, mostly in the Mediterranean.

South deals.

West North East South
      Pass
Pass 1 1 2NT
Pass 3NT End

Contract: 3NT

9 7 4
A 7
J 10
A Q J 9 3 2
K Q 10 6 5 3
K J
A 8 2
7 6

West leads the8 to East’s queen and South’s ace.

Declarer plays a club to dummy’s queen and continue with the J

Which card should East play?

Answer:

A … firmly, them no less firmly, theK. As always, East should count declarer’s tricks.

In addition to theA, he can see six clubs and theA. If South started withA J 2, there is no hope. But maybe West has missing2. If so, the jack will fall on the king and the contract will go two down.

Why, then, does declarer risk leading theJ?

To steal his ninth trick quickly, which he will succeed in doing if East is not on the alert.

9 7 4
A 7
J 10
A Q J 9 3 2
8 2
Q 10 5 4 3
Q 6 5 3
10 8
K Q 10 6 5 3
K J
A 8 2
7 6
A J
9 8 6 2
K 9 7 4
K 5 4