George Bernard Shaw claimed: “A day’s work is a day’s work, neither more nor less, and the man who does it needs a day’s sustenance, a night’s repose and due leisure, whether he be painter or ploughman.”

To solve this ticklish problem, luckily you are probably only recently awake after a night’s repose. How should South plan the play in four spades after West begins with the three top hearts, and East follows throughout?

The bidding was natural, with South’s two-spade advance being forcing by partnership agreement. (I prefer this style because then a two-heart cue-bid guarantees club support. If a new suit by advancer is nonforcing, the cue-bid becomes ambiguous: support or a strong hand.)

South noted that his spade 10 gave him a finessing position should East have jack-fourth of trumps. So, declarer ruffed the third heart, cashed the spade ace, played a spade to dummy’s queen ... and suddenly had to go down. He had to lose one spade, two hearts and one diamond (when that finesse lost).

The right approach is to accept a trump loser in return for discarding the diamond five and jack on dummy’s fourth and fifth clubs.

At tricks three and four, South should cash the spade ace and king. If everyone follows, declarer draws the last trump and runs the clubs for an overtrick. Here, though, he turns immediately to the clubs. West ruffs the third round but has no riposte. South ruffs the fourth heart in his hand, plays a spade to the queen (removing West’s spade jack) and finishes the clubs.

© 2018 United Feature Syndicate