"My partner had a chip on his shoulder after this deal," a club player told me.

"That can indicate wood higher up," I observed. "What happened?"

"I was West," my friend said, "and led the king, the ace and a low club against four spades. South ruffed with the ace of trumps and ducked a diamond, and my partner won and shifted to a trump.

"South won in his hand, led a diamond to the ace, ruffed a diamond high, led a heart to the king, and ruffed dummy's last diamond high. He drew trumps with the 10-9 and won the last two tricks with the A-Q of hearts."

"And East used the chip on his shoulder to kindle an argument," I said.

"I'll say. He told me if I shift to a trump at the third trick, we beat the contract. South lacks the entries for his dummy reversal and loses a heart. I said that was too tough for me."

Dummy had little trick-taking power, hence West could defend passively. He didn't even need to cash his second club trick, since it couldn't disappear.

East was right that a passive defense was in order, but after West took the ace of clubs, four spades was cold. Say he shifts to a diamond at Trick Three. South ducks. If East tries to cash the queen of clubs next, South can still reverse the dummy. If East returns a diamond, South takes the ace, ruffs a diamond, and runs all of his trumps, and East is squeezed: He can't save the queen of clubs and all four hearts.

To beat four spades, West must lead any card except the ace of clubs at the second trick.