Source: The Milwaukee Sentinel – 18 Sep 1959

Dealer South E/W Vul

7 4 2
K Q 8
J 9 6
J 10 7 3
A 10 6
9 7 4 3
A 5 3 2
6 5
5
A 10 6
K 10 7 4
A 9 8 4 2
K Q J 9 8 3
J 5 2
Q 8
K Q
West North East South
1
Pass 1NT Pass 2
Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: 6

Dick Frey & Sue Emery
Dick Frey & Sue Emery

Although a raise to 2would have great pre-emptive value, North’s square hand justified his choice of a one no-trump response. Vulnerability pre-vented East from competing, so South bought the contract at 2.

One of the most difficult decisions for defender is when to cash side tricks and when to let partner ruff. Nearly every situation is different and must be judged on its own merits.

In today’s hand after losing the first trick to East’s club ace, South captured the club return with his king. West grabbed the first trump lead to play a low heart and North’s queen fell to East’s ace.

At this point, it was a pretty good bet that a club lead would let West score another trump trick but returning a club right away would let South sluff a red loser and might actually cost West a natural trump trick he might have made anyway.

Needing three more tricks to defeat the contract, East elected to play his partner for the ace of diamonds.

His diamond return was the only one that could set the hand. West won with the ace and returned a diamond won by East’s king. Now the time is ripe for the club play. If South ruffs high. West trump ten wins the setting trick later; if he ruffs low, the ten-spot makes certain of the set right then and there.

But making the play before cashing both diamonds would have let declarer make the contract safely by discarding a diamond later.