As South, assume you are declarer in 4 on each deal.Can you find the surefire play to guarantee making your contract?
You have 9 top tricks, and there is only one way to be sure of 10. Win the A and draw the missing trumps (three rounds if necessary). Lead a club to the king and ruff the last club in your hand.
Next lead a diamond and finesse the nine (unless West plays the 10 or jack, then finesse the queen). When East wins this trick he will be endplayed: A heart lead allows you to win the K; a diamond lead gives you a free finesse; or a club lead allows you to discard a heart and ruff in dummy.
A number of plays might succeed in practice, but there is only one surefire technique. Win the spade lead in hand and immediately ruff a heart with the A (do not cash the A). Lead dummys last spade to your hand and draw all the enemy trumps.
Next lead a club and finesse the jack. If this loses you will have 10 guaranteed tricks: five spades, the A, a heart ruff, and three clubs. Note: If the club finesse works, do not repeat it (a clever East player might duck with the queen).
Did you notice you have all 13 trumps? Even so, you are in danger of going down if the heart finesse loses and a diamond is returned through your king.
The lifetime guarantee: Discard a heart at trick one. Wests only safe return is a heart, but now you can hop up with dummys ace and lead the Q for a ruffing finesse (if East does not produce the king, discard a diamond). Even if West wins the K, your K cannot be led through and dummys J will be established for a discard.
© 1994 Richard Pavlicek