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Bridge 1/4

It is not always a no-no play

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Posted: January 3, 2007 5:14 p.m.
Updated: January 18, 2007 5:00 a.m.
Peter McWilliams stated, "Many people weigh the guilt they will feel against the pleasure of the forbidden action they want to take."
    At the bridge table, there are some plays that are usually wrong, making it tough to spot a situation when wrong becomes right.
    In this deal, you are sitting West. Against four spades, you lead the heart queen: king, ace, five. East returns the heart two, showing that he started with either two hearts or four. (Which must it be?) After winning with your eight, how would you continue?
    North's second-round jump to three spades is game-forcing because he responded initially at the two-level.
    You know that East must have started with four hearts. If he had begun with only a doubleton, South would have had four and would have rebid two hearts, not two diamonds. So, perhaps you cashed the club ace, hoping partner had the king. No joy.
    Count the points. Once partner produces the heart ace, there are only 13 missing. Surely South has them all. There is only one chance. You must ignore the taboo of a lifetime and lead a third heart, conceding — shock, gasp, horror — a ruff-and-sluff.
    Now South has no chance. He will ruff in his hand and draw two rounds of trumps, getting the bad news. If he draws all of your trumps, he can run the diamonds, but when he plays a club, you will win with your ace and cash a heart trick. Alternatively, if South tries a club, you win and give a second ruff-and-sluff, promoting a trump trick for yourself.
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