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Bridge 5/23

A clear-cut case of an unusual play

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Posted: May 22, 2007 4:43 p.m.
Updated: June 6, 2007 5:00 a.m.
    There are some uncommon defensive coups in bridge. And to make matters worse, when a defender has a chance for one of these brilliancies, it is usually not clear-cut to make the winning play. But this deal is different. West ought to see the killing defense.
    Take his hand and decide what you would do. After South opens one heart, you overcall two no-trump, the Unusual No-Trump, showing at least 5-5 in the minor suits. North competes by bidding three hearts, East passes, South raises to four hearts, and everyone passes.
    You lead the club ace and continue with the club king. Knowing from partner's high-low signal that he started with a doubleton club, you cash the club queen, East discarding the diamond three. Judging that partner is more likely to have started with three diamonds than one (with two, he would have started another high-low), you shift to the spade nine. Declarer wins with the king on the board and plays a heart to his queen.
What would you discard and what is about to happen?
    Your discard is not important! Throw a club, a low diamond or a spade. But you must be ready at the next trick. Declarer is pained by the 4-0 heart split. To pick up East's king, he needs two dummy entries to take two more heart finesses. He will continue with his low diamond, and if you play second hand low, South will call for dummy's jack. That will win the trick and declarer will make his contract. You must put up the diamond queen to kill the second diamond dummy entry.
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