John Ortberg, a pastor in California, said, “Prudence is foresight and farsightedness. It’s the ability to make immediate decisions on the basis of their longer-range effects.”

That is perfect for today’s deal. Declarer needs foresight to make a farsighted play early in the proceedings.

South is in four spades doubled. West leads the heart ace, then shifts to the club king. How should declarer proceed?

Over West’s first double, North raised pre-emptively to game with five-card spade support, a weak hand, a singleton, and an eye on the favorable vulnerability. West’s second double promised extra strength. Then East might have bid to the five-level, but he had only one point and the vulnerability was adverse. (Note that five hearts is defeated only if South gets a club ruff.)

South should be worried about losing one spade, one heart and two diamonds. But if West began with both missing trumps, he is a candidate for an end-play – for which declarer must first eliminate the rounded suits.

After winning trick two with dummy’s club ace, South must ruff a club in his hand. Then the play proceeds: spade ace, heart ruff, club ruff, heart ruff and club ruff. With his preparations complete, declarer exits with a trump (or leads his diamond king).

West wins but is stuck. If he plays a diamond, South loses only one trick there. Or if West leads a heart, declarer ruffs in one hand and sluffs a diamond from the other.

Tune in tomorrow for more on this interesting deal.


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