Gitelman led the K and threw a spade from his hand, allowing East to win with the A.
A club return, giving a ruff and sluff, would have been fatal. South would have thrown a spade, ruffing in dummy, and led a heart to the K. Then he would have run the J, establishing a winner to take care of his heart loser.
East chose to cash the
A and lead another spade. He hoped that his partner held the J, but as it was, South took two spade tricks and made his game.
East had missed a difficult chance to escape from the trap. After winning the A, he should have led a low spade. Then South would have had no way to avoid the loss of two more tricks for down one.
Gitelman is a leading creator of bridge software. His latest effort is a program for complete beginners. It is available free by logging onto the American Contract Bridge League’s Web page: www.acbl.org.