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Bridge 4/26

You should think down straight lines

The late comedian Mitch Hedberg once said, "I wanna hang a map of the world in my house. Then I'm gonna put pins into all the locations that I've traveled to. But first, I'm gonna have to travel to the top two corners of the map so it won't fall down."
    In yesterday's deal, declarer did not have to peek around corners. He merely had to count to 13. In this deal, he also does not require mirrors; he needs to think in a straight line.
    First, though, look only at the North hand. Your right-hand opponent opens one club, you make a takeout double, lefty passes, your partner advances with one spade, and righty passes. What would you rebid?
    Once you have decided, move into the South seat. You are in four spades. West takes three diamond tricks, then shifts to a club. How would you continue from there?
    South's one-spade bid shows 0-8 high-card points. So, North should not jump to four spades, which could be a hopeless contract. He should rebid three spades, very strongly inviting game. (Even a two-spade raise promises 17 or 18 points.) Then South, who might have had no points at all (a Yarborough), should go on to game.
    You must play the trump suit without loss. But you have only one hand entry — the heart ace. In this situation, lead the lowest trump in your hand that can win the trick if the finesse works. So, after playing a heart to your ace, lead the spade nine. When that holds, continue with the spade jack. Then play a spade to dummy's queen, cash the spade ace, and claim.

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