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Bridge 11/7

Base your play on the bidding

    Kenneth Grahame, a Scottish author who died in 1932, said, "The strongest human instinct is to impart information; the second strongest is to resist it."
    At the table, any time an opponent bids, doubles, or redoubles, it imparts information. Get ready to use it when the card play commences.
    In today's deal, you are East, looking at your hand and North's. South opened one spade, North responded two clubs, South rebid two spades, and North jumped to four spades.
    West leads the heart ace. What are your thoughts? What would you play to the first trick?
    After the dummy comes down, always count its points. Here, that North hand contains 13 high-card points. You know from the bidding that declarer has 12-14, and you hold seven. That leaves 6-8 for your partner, and you already know about seven: the ace and king of hearts. And West cannot have a jack, because you can see them all. So, your chances of defeating this contract are not good. The best you can do for the moment is to signal encouragingly with your heart nine.
    Partner cashes the heart king, then plays a third heart to your queen, everyone following. What would you do now?
    Since partner has no more high cards, your only chance for a fourth trick lies in spades. Lead your last heart. When West ruffs with his spade eight, it effects an uppercut, gaining you a trump trick.
    Use the bidding to place the missing high cards. And whenever your side has taken every possible side-suit trick, give a ruff-and-sluff.

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