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Bridge 3/9

Give up one to get three back

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Posted: March 8, 2007 4:36 p.m.
Updated: March 23, 2007 5:00 a.m.
If you gave someone one dollar and he handed you three dollars in return, you would be happy to keep playing for as long as he was willing (assuming, of course, that he was not giving you three-dollar bills). But sometimes bridge players who are due to receive three tricks from a suit end up with only one — as the declarer did in this deal.
    What would you have done in his place? Against one no-trump, West leads the heart queen. How would you proceed?
    West was tempted to overcall two hearts, but he sensibly passed. His hand was soft, and the K-J of diamonds could easily have been sitting under the A-Q. Also, it is more dangerous entering an auction in which the opponents have not advertised a fit.
    South ducked the first trick (sometimes the right play with this holding), took West's heart continuation with his ace, and ran the club queen. East, after winning with his king, did well, shifting to the spade three. Now declarer was booked for down two. He could take only one spade, two hearts, one diamond and one club. The two high clubs in his hand withered, as useless as a three-dollar bill.
    If South is willing to sacrifice one club trick, starting with the dummy's ace and playing a second round, he can get three club tricks — if he has a hand entry. And he has one if he takes the first trick with the heart king on the board. Then, after playing the ace and another club, he will end up with these tricks: one spade, two hearts, one diamond and three clubs.
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