Dorothy Parker said, “Take care of the luxuries, and the necessities will take care of themselves.”
Take care of your trumps, and your contract will take care of itself.
Deciding when to draw trumps can be as enigmatic a problem as the smile on Mona Lisa’s face. But in today’s deal, the problem is not when but how to draw them. South is in four spades. West cashes three club tricks, then exits with a diamond to dummy’s king. How should declarer handle his trumps?
North’s first two bids strongly suggested that he did not have a club stopper. Since South didn’t either, he jumped to four spades.
Lead the ace from ace-king at trick one, and the king from ace-king after trick one. From ace-king-queen at trick one, decide between the ace and queen. The latter’s advantage is that when you lead an ace, partner knows you cannot have the queen. Here, after the queen lead, East signals high-low to show an even number.
Since declarer has no more side-suit losers, he should draw trumps as quickly as possible. With eight spades missing the queen, he should finesse. However, should he finesse now or cash the ace first?
If the missing spades are 3-2, South will be all right if East has the queen. But if West has a singleton spade, cashing the ace works when it is the queen and loses when it is a low card. Since West is four times more likely to have a low spade than the queen, South should finesse immediately.
When the finesse wins, he reenters the dummy with a heart, finesses again, draws trumps and claims.