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Bridge 8/1

One chance is better than none

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    Bette Davis said, "To fulfill a dream, to be allowed to sweat over lonely labor, to be given the chance to create, is the meat and potatoes of life. The money is the gravy."
    This week we are looking at the meat and potatoes of defense: how defenders use point-count to place missing honor cards and find the killing defense.
    Sometimes you have to hope that your only chance works out. In real life, of course, a fair percentage of the time that will not happen. But in constructed deals, everything is always for the best in the best of all possible worlds.
    South is in one no-trump. You, West, lead your fourth-highest diamond, the seven: two, nine, king. Declarer plays the spade jack from his hand, which you duck, and a second spade to your ace. What would you do now?
    What did you learn about declarer's hand from the bidding? That he has 6-10 points.
What did you learn from the play to trick one? That South began with the ace, king and jack of diamonds.     Don't be fooled by his sneaky falsecard. If your partner, East, had had a diamond higher than the nine, he would have played it.
    Declarer also had the spade jack. That makes nine points. If South has the club jack too, you are fighting a futile feud.
    How many tricks does South have? At least eight: four spades, two hearts and two diamonds. Your only chance is to cash the club king and play your second club, hoping partner has six headed by the ace-jack. Gravy!
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