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 Pass 2
Pass 3 Pass 3NT
Pass Pass

Contract: 3NT

Opening lead: Q

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

West leads theQ tu dummy´s ace.

Declarer calls for the8

Which card should East play?

Answer:

K There is little prospect of defeating the contract without bringing in partner’s spades and the only possible entry partner can have is theA. I he hasn’t got it, all is lost anyway. If he has it, that vital entry must be preserved at all cost, until theK has been driven out.

Observe what happens if East does not go up with theA, leads a spade, drives out the king and sets up his suit. East comes in with theK and has no spade left to play.

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