Opening Lead: 4
“Your honor,” the district attorney stated, “we will prove that East committed a felony. He let South make a hopeless game.””Proceed,” said the judge.
“West led a heart against four spades,” the DA began: “eight, king, ace. Declarer drew trumps and led a diamond to dummy’s ten. When East took the queen, he returned a heart, and South won and led another diamond. He set up a diamond in dummy for a club discard, losing two diamonds and a club.”
“Objection!” East’s counsel roared. “True, East beats four spades with a club switch at Trick Five, but that would require a crystal ball.”
Did East commit a crime?
East was guilty. He must play the jack on the first heart. When South takes the queen and draws trumps, East knows the defense needs two club tricks and two diamonds. Hence he must switch to a club when he takes the queen of diamonds.
If instead South won the first heart with the ace, East could lead a heart at Trick Five, and West would return a club.
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