Yesterday, I compared flipping a coin to an endplay. In the former, you have only a 50 percent chance of winning; but in the latter, it is 100 percent if you can draw trumps, keeping at least one in the dummy and your hand, eliminate the cards in two side suits, and give an opponent the lead when he has to help you.

Here is another example. How should South play in six hearts after West leads the spade queen? What do you think of the auction?

North’s two-no-trump response was the Jacoby Forcing Raise, promising four or more hearts and at least game-forcing values. The opener, without a singleton or void, rebid three hearts to show a maximum. (Four of his major would have indicated a minimum and three no-trump middling strength.) Four diamonds was a controlbid (cue-bid). Then South used regular Blackwood. (If North-South had been using Roman Key Card Blackwood, South would have known that North had the heart queen.)

At first glance, the contract appears to depend upon one out of two diamond finesses. But whenever declarer faces this position, he should try to engineer an elimination and endplay. He wins the first trick, draws trumps, and cashes his other four black-suit winners, discarding the diamond five from the dummy. Now South leads a diamond to dummy’s 10 (or queen). After East wins with the jack (or king), he must either lead back into dummy’s diamond tenace or concede a ruffand sluff.

Yes, a diamond lead is fatal to the contract. East should have doubled the four-diamond control-bid.

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