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Bridge 6/29

You need a pitch, but watch entries

    You are the declarer in a suit contract. When the dummy comes down, you see that you have one loser more than you can afford. You cannot ruff it in the shorter trump hand, but you can discard it. Seems simple enough — but occasionally some care will be required.
    You reach four spades. West leads the diamond queen. How would you proceed? As a side issue, what do you think of partner's game-invitational three-spade limit raise?
    Moving in reverse order, North is worth three spades. A limit raise shows 10-12 support points and eight losers. North's hand has seven high-card points and three for his singleton club: 10 support points. (You get two points for a singleton when you have an eight-card fit.) North's hand also contains eight losers: three spades, two hearts, two diamonds and one club.
    You have four potential losers: one in each suit. You cannot avoid conceding tricks to the three aces, so you must dispose of that diamond loser. You can set up your club suit, discarding dummy's diamond loser on the second round of clubs, then ruffing your remaining low diamond on the board.
    But where must you win trick one?
    If you win it in your hand, you will drive out the club ace and take trick three on the board. You will be stranded there, unable to get to your hand for the key pitch.
    Win trick one on the board. Then, after a club to West's ace and a diamond back, you take that in your hand and can cash a club winner for the key diamond discard.

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