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Bridge 1/9

You need entries for heartfelt ruffs

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Posted: January 8, 2007 6:40 p.m.
Updated: January 23, 2007 5:00 a.m.
Ogden Nash wrote, "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of."
    Bridge players sometimes find themselves in the wrong hand, which is usually fatal. At other times, they do not operate their doors — entries — correctly. That applies to this deal. You are in six spades. West leads a trump and East follows suit. What is your plan?
    North made a splinter response, showing at least four-card spade support and game-going values with at most a singleton club. South, deciding to divulge no more information to the defenders, bid what he hoped he could make.
    South, relieved that West had not led a diamond, relaxed too much. He drew the remaining trump — and could no longer make the contract. After fiddling for a few tricks, he played a diamond to dummy's ace and a diamond to his queen, losing two tricks in the suit.
    The diamond option should be put behind the door. South should play on hearts, hoping for a 4-4 split or king-queen-third. But if the suit is 4-4, declarer needs four dummy entries: three for heart ruffs and one to get to the established winner. That last entry must be the diamond ace. The other three must come from the trumps.
    Ruff a club on the board, ruff a heart in your hand, ruff a club, ruff a heart, ruff the club ace(!), ruff a heart, pull the remaining trump, play a diamond to dummy's ace, and cash the heart ace, discarding a diamond. Here, the heart jack is high, so throw another diamond and concede one diamond. But if the heart jack is not high, play a diamond to your queen.
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