Source: Herald-Journal – 10 May 1938

In playing a suit at contract, one of the things which a player learns early is that with three top honors in a suit, he should lay down one first in the hand in which there are two. This is a sound enough general rule, but like all other rules there are exceptions to it.

Dealer South. N/S Vul

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

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

Contract. 7NT

Opening Lead J

Such a case is where there are nine in the two hands, and you wish to win all of the tricks in the suit. Obviously in this case the jack- ten and two others are missing.

Contract 7NT, and at least several of the contestants reached it. Where it was played on the basis of laying down an honor from the hand which held two, the contract was lost on the second play. When the heart ace failed to drop a single heart from the East hand, a trick in that suit had to be conceded later to West and the contract was down one.

However, safeguarding the contract is only child’s play. All that is necessary is to lead a low heart to the king or rather, as the successful declarer did win the first diamond with the ace and lay down the heart king. If East should hold all four hearts, then no line of play will permit the capture of all but with the hearts in the West hand, there is no trouble about picking them up, as West will be in the position where he will have to split his equals.

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