In his pushy 4 contract, declarer won the A and led a club to the Q. Eastís K was a blow, but when a high diamond came back, declarer was still alive. He ruffed in dummy, cashed the A, and led a spade to the 9 and K, certain it would lose to Westís A. West played ... a ďsafeĒ third club. Declarer ruffed, ruffed a diamond, came to a high trump and ruffed his last diamond with the A. There were two trumps out, but declarer could not afford another round as it was essential to retain a trump in each hand. He called for a spade.
If Eastís J were permitted to hold he would have to concede a ruff-and-discard. If West overtook the J with his Q, however, he would establish a natural spade trick for declarer. At this point, there was no defense to declarerís partial elimination.
Kraft: Very pretty, but donít you think that our expert defenders should have done something more effective in spades?
Kokish:Yes. East had an early blind spot; if declarer had two spade honours, staying off spades would not gain. West, playing reverse count signals, could identify the 9 as a singleton or from J9 doubleton but not from 984 (declarer would lead a spade to the J with KJ doubleton). West may have believed that his partner would hot have a trump to ruff the third spade, but a small spade return really could not lose.
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