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Bridge 2/1

A deal that is tough for all

Jimmy Buffett said, "Indecision may or may not be my problem."
    At the table, we are occasionally unsure of what to do next. Usually, careful analysis will clear the cloudy skies, permitting the sun to shine through. That ought to be the case in this deal. Look only at the North and East hands.
    South reaches four spades. West guesses well to lead the diamond queen. After East wins the third trick with his diamond ace, what should he do next?
    West opens with a typical three-bid: a decent seven-card suit, some six playing-tricks, and 6-10 high-card points. North was tempted to make a takeout double, but that would probably have carried his side too high.     South thought about balancing with three no-trump, which works fine here, but the 150-point bonus for his spade honors was a powerful lure. North cue-bid four hearts to show a good raise to four spades. South was not tempted to look for a slam.
    At trick four, should East shift to the heart queen or to a club?
    If East leads his heart queen, South collects five spades, one heart and four clubs.
    East should count out the deal. He knows from the bidding and play that South started with five spades, four hearts, three diamonds and, therefore, only one club. A club shift will be decisive.
    Now South will play a spade — and find that he can no longer make the contract. To get home, South would have to guess that the trumps are 4-0 and immediately cash all of dummy's clubs — which would never happen in our world.

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