Many bridge players who never make the grade are often victims of their own appalling complacency and lack of forethought. Take this hand for example where my wayward partner went off in 4S. My hand was a tasty A10x...xxx....AJxxx.....Ax, opposite his KQJxxx...Axx...xx...xx. On a queen of clubs lead, there appears to be four losers ( 2H, 1D ans 1C ), but if the diamond suit could be ruffed out one loser ( possibly two ) could disappear on the established winners. So a little care was called for.
Unfortunately, my partner ( sitting South ) took the club with the Ace, and then played Ace of diamonds followed by another. East won with the 10, cashed the king of clubs, and switched to the queen of hearts. Declarer took the trick with his Ace, played the King of spades, followed by the 3 of to dummy's 10. A third diamond was played from the table and ruffed. Had the adverse diamonds been evenly divided all would have been well. As it was, he could cross to dummy's Ace of spades to ruff a fourth diamond.....but there was no way back to dummy to score the fifth diamond for an essential heart discard. Complacency and carelessness had yet again got the better of him.
So what should he have done ? Well firstly, he needed to plan for a 4-2 break in diamonds, and secondly he had to get the timing right. After winning the first trick with the Ace of clubs, he needed to play a low diamond from both hands at trick 2. East of course will snatch his diamond and club tricks, and switch to a heart. However, after taking the heart trick straightaway with the Ace, declarer is now in control. The king of spades is played next followed by a diamond to the Ace. The third diamond is ruffed with the jack. Declarer then re-enters dummy with the spade 10, and ruffs the fourth diamond with the queen, only to re-enter dummy again with the spade Ace. Having now established the fifth diamond as a winner, one losing heart. can be joyously discarded.
Now how easy was that ?