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Bridge 10/29

Use the shape to place the cards

    Look at the North-South diamond holdings in today's diagram. If you were South, having played a diamond toward the king-jack, would you call for the jack or for the king?
    Who knows? But often the bidding can supply a clue.
    West opened two spades, a weak two-bid usually promising a six-card suit. With seven, one would normally open three spades. North correctly doubled for takeout. (Yes, his point-count was low, but after a pre-empt, the player short in the opponent's suit should strain to enter the auction.) True, this might have resulted in a heart contract in a 4-3 fit, but it would have been worse to overcall three clubs with such an anemic suit. Now South jumped to four hearts. With a six-card major, two aces and one king, he was right to go for game.
    West led the spade queen. Declarer won with his ace and took dummy's two top hearts, getting the bad news. South played dummy's second spade, East discarding the diamond two. Declarer won with his king and ruffed his last spade on the board, East overruffing and shifting to the club king.
    South won with his ace and returned a club to dummy's nine, but East won with his 10 and continued with the club queen. Declarer ruffed and led a diamond, West ducking smoothly. Should South have called for dummy's jack or for the king?
    The clue was West's opening bid. With seven decent spades and the diamond ace, he would have opened three spades. But with only the diamond queen, two spades was comprehensible. So declarer called for the diamond jack and made his contract.

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