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Bridge 6/30

How many trumps are sufficient?

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    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from ... what? Think of your own answer. There are two at the end of this column.
This week we have been avoiding losers in trump contracts. This deal features one last important point. First, though, how would you plan the auction with that South hand?
    If you trust your partner never to pass a forcing bid, open two clubs and rebid two spades. If he continues with three diamonds, promising a five-card suit, leap majestically to seven diamonds. But I would open six no-trump, the contract I know I will make. I would be very nervous that partner might decide, looking at a zero-count and short spades, to pass out two spades. However, if you wish to gamble, open seven spades, not seven no-trump — for the reason that this deal will highlight.
    How would you plan the play in seven spades? West leads the spade nine.
    If declarer opens with six or seven of a suit, a trump lead is usually best. Maybe he has a two-suiter and the lead will stop him from establishing his side suit with a ruff or two.
    How lucky that partner has a doubleton heart, so you can ruff your heart three on the board. But since you will take just one ruff, you need only one trump in the dummy. Draw a second round of trumps, then cash your top hearts, and ruff the heart three on the board. Your care is rewarded in full when West discards on the third heart.
    Arthur C. Clarke thinks that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. James Klass believes it is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.
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