The “Scissors Coup” was a possible play if West held the king of clubs. South could cash dummy’s ace of clubs and lead the queen of clubs, discarding both of his hearts. West could win, but there would be no entry to the East hand for a diamond ruff. The problem was, if West had to hold the ace of spades, then East had to hold the king of clubs for his opening bid. East would just cover the queen of clubs and the “Scissors Coup” wouldn’t work.
South tried a different angle. He cashed the ace of clubs, discarding a heart so that East would know that declarer was void in clubs, and then led the eight of clubs from dummy.
East played low, not wanting to see his king of clubs ruffed needlessly. When South saw that East had not covered the eight of clubs, he went back to his first idea and discarded the king of hearts! The “Scissors Coup” had worked after all.
West, an unkind partner, quickly pointed out that the contract would have failed had East played his king of clubs on the eight. East, who thought playing low was routine good play, had to concede that his partner was right. (Bob Jones welcomes readers’ responses sent in care of this newspaper or to Tribune Content Agency, LLC., 16650 Westgrove Dr., Suite 175, Addison, TX 75001. E- mail responses may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.) (c) 2017 TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.