East’s 3♠ bid was preemptive, showing a long suit (usually seven cards) and a weak hand, its purpose being to make life difficult for the opponents. And so it does, pushing N-S into an ugly 4♥ contract, which has five top losers.
West cashes his three Clubs, and then, for want of better, shifts to a Diamond. Dummy wins that and draws trumps. It was fortunate for Declarer that West started with no Spades, otherwise he would have been down two in a hurry. But now, if Declarer can bring home the Diamond suit, both of those Spade losers will disappear and this rotten contract will actually make! Do you play Diamonds from the top (hoping that they are 3-3 or that East has J♦? Or do you finesse the 10 (playing West to have J ♦)?
It may be tempting to think, “East has seven Spades and West has none, therefore West is more likely to have Diamond length,” but that’s only part of the picture, and Declarer will count the whole hand. East started with seven Spades, two Hearts and one Club, that much we know. This leaves three Diamonds, no more, no less! So, Declarer confidently plays the Diamonds from the top, and the Spade losers are thrown off. It pays to count in this game!
It also pays to stay awake. Yes, you noticed the defense was fast asleep! East must ruff the third Club, just in case West has no Spades. Now the Spades are cashed, and it is down two. And, let’s also mention that West should have helped his dozing partner by leading a low Club at trick 3. That will wake him up!
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