Against your 3NT contract, West led the ♠3, fourth-highest. East plays the ♠K. How will you take nine tricks on this deal?
Declarer saw that he needed spades to be 4-4. and realized that he could not release the ♥K before he made a diamond trick. The only chance was to time the play in a way that would put the defenders on lead when they could cash three spades and then be forced to give him a second trick in a red suit. As the only sure way of achieving this was to endplay the defense with a spade, declarer saw that he had to take East’s ♠K with the ace at trick one. Proceeding with this idea, declarer cashed the ♣A at trick two. He followed this by playing a low heart to dummy’s ace and ran the clubs.
Declarer threw three hearts and a diamond from hand. East threw a spade and a heart and West a low heart.
Declarer led the ♦K, which East ducked in the hope that West had a second diamond. Declarer countered this by playing dummy’s ♠8. East rose with the jack and exited with his remaining spade. West cashed the ♠Q and ♠9 but then had to play a heart, as he had only that suit remaining in his hand. So, declarer had nine tricks – a spade, two hearts, a diamond and five clubs.
Note that the natural line of trying to cross to dummy with a diamond fails. East wins the trick, the defenders cash the spade suit, then exit with a heart. Declarer never makes a trick with the ♥K: he would lose three spades and two diamonds. The full deal: