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Bridge 4/28

Time is not only on a watch

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Nancy Astor, the first woman to serve as a member of the House of Commons, said, "One reason I don't drink is that I want to know when I am having a good time."
    Yesterday, we had a deal in which a defender had to win the correct trick with his only high card, an ace. Here is another layout along similar lines.
    Take West's cards. On lead against four spades, you select a top-of-nothing heart nine because it is the unbid suit. Partner wins with his queen, cashes the heart ace, and continues with the heart king, which South ruffs. Declarer plays a trump to dummy's queen, your partner following with the two, and continues with the spade 10. How would you defend from there?
    North's sequence, a two-over-one response followed by jump support for his partner's major, shows exactly three spades with game-forcing values.
    Did you count the high-card points? You have four, there are 14 on the board, and partner has already produced nine. Since that leaves only 13 for declarer, he must have both minor-suit aces. You need to get two trump tricks. Also, you and South now have equal spade length.
    The secret is to take your spade ace when dummy is playing its final trump. Then you can lead your last heart, forcing declarer to ruff with his remaining trump and giving you the setting trick with your fourth spade.
    Note that if you win an early trump trick and play that heart, declarer will ruff on the board, cross to his hand in a minor, draw trumps, and claim.
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