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Bridge 12/15

When there is only one chance

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Dick Cavett said, “If your parents never had children, chances are you won’t, either.”
    And the chances are that you’re not reading this. But assuming your parents had at least one child, here is your chance to show that you can see the one chance to make three no-trump on this deal. West leads the spade nine in answer to his partner’s opening bid. What would be your plan?
    If you would have opened one no-trump, overcall one no-trump — unless you have no stopper in the opener’s suit (especially when that was in a major) or you have a poor 15 points with only one stopper in his suit and no useful intermediate cards (nines or 10s).
    You have only six top tricks: two spades, one heart and three diamonds. You need three more winners from somewhere, which is not good news. But since you are missing only 14 high-card points, you can mentally credit East with most — if not all — of the absent honor cards.
    Taking two heart finesses, even if you get lucky and have one of them win, will generate only one extra trick. You must make something of the club suit. But you know that East has the ace. So, overtake your diamond jack or queen with the king on the board. Then call for a club. When East plays the 10, go up with your king. Now lead another club and play low from the board. Your only chance is that East started with ace-doubleton — and because I am a friendly fellow, that is exactly what he did. Now you have nine tricks: two spades, one heart, three diamonds and three clubs.
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