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Bridge 2/3

More chances for quick play

Edith Nesbitt said, "It is wonderful how quickly you get used to things, even the most astonishing."
    I am no longer astonished at how quickly inexperienced players choose their cards. But it would be wonderful if they worked at a more leisurely pace.
Sit in the South seat. You are in four spades. West leads the heart nine. What would be your plan? Slow down!
    South should rebid four spades because a slam is unlikely and he would be giving no further information to the defenders. But hoping North had an ideal hand, South jumped to four clubs, a splinter bid showing his singleton and asking his partner to evaluate given that information. North beat a quick retreat to four spades.
The original South covered with dummy's heart 10 and took East's queen with his ace. He next cashed his two top spades, then led his club. But West, aided by South's revealing rebid, won with his ace and continued with a second heart. The defenders took one club, two hearts and one spade.
    Declarer was unlucky, but where did he err?
The heart-nine lead was clearly top-of-nothing -- it could not be fourth-highest. So, when East played the heart queen at trick one, South had to let him hold the trick.
East would be forced to shift, perhaps leading his trump. South takes his top spades and plays his club. West wins with his ace and returns a heart, but declarer takes his ace, cashes the ace-king of diamonds, ruffs a diamond on the board, and discards his remaining heart and diamond on the club king-queen.

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