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Bridge 7/14

Two genius plays from twilight

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Posted: July 13, 2007 2:53 p.m.
Updated: July 28, 2007 5:00 a.m.
    Oscar Wilde said, "At twilight, nature is not without loveliness, though perhaps its chief use is to illustrate quotations from the poets."
Today's deal, if it occurred in a tournament, would give two players, East and South, the chance to be geniuses. But although South might do the necessary, any East who produced the key coup would be written up around the globe.
    South is in four hearts. West leads the spade ace. Can you see the two great plays?
After South opens one heart, West might pass; or overcall one spade; or cue-bid two hearts, Michaels, showing at least 5-5 in spades and either minor. His choice of one spade left North with an easy raise to two hearts. But if West had cue-bid two hearts, it would have made his opponents' life much harder.
    It would be "normal" for West to cash his two top spades, East playing high-low to show his doubleton. West would lead a third spade and East would ruff. East would shift to the diamond queen, but South would win in his hand, play a club to the board, lead a heart to his queen, return to dummy with a club, take a second heart finesse, cash the heart ace, and claim.
    Then it might dawn on East that if he had discarded a club at the third trick instead of ruffing, the contract would have been defeated -- unless South had unblocked his jack and queen of spades at the first two tricks. If South does not unblock his spade honors, East's discard would leave declarer with only one dummy entry for two heart finesses. South would have to lose two trump tricks.

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