Nicole Kidman was quoted in "The Scotsman" as saying, "When you relinquish the desire to control your future, you can have more happiness."

A bridge player who does not worry about the later tricks in the play will usually end the deal with less happiness or money, or both!

How should the defense proceed in today's deal after West leads the diamond king against four spades?

The North hand was strong for a game-invitational limit raise because it had only six losers (you deduct one loser for a known 10-card or better fit), but weak for a Jacoby Forcing Raise with only 10 high-card points.

When North opted for the underbid, South raised to game because he had only five-and-a-half losers (one spade, one heart, two diamonds and one-and-a-half clubs, deducting half a loser for having the jack and 10).

East could see three defensive winners: two diamonds and the spade ace. From where might the fourth trick come?

The most likely answer was a club ruff. So, the original East played a discouraging diamond two, asking his partner to shift at trick two. West got the message, but he switched to the heart queen. Declarer won that, drove out the spade ace and cruised home.

East should have taken control by overtaking with his diamond ace at trick one and shifting to his club. Then he could have won the next trick with his spade ace, put his partner on lead with the diamond queen and received the lethal club ruff.

Take control when you know how to defeat a contract.

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