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Bridge 9/26

Lose two tricks; avoid three losers

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Posted: September 25, 2007 5:26 p.m.
Updated: October 10, 2007 5:00 a.m.
    You hand someone two dollars and he gives you three in return. Isn't that a profitable trade? It can be the same at the bridge table. If you give away a trick and get two in return, or you give away two and get three in return, you will be on the road to success.
    How does that apply to this deal? You are South, in five diamonds. West leads a low heart and East plays the queen. How would you continue?
    After West opened one heart and North made a takeout double, East jumped pre-emptively to three hearts, showing four hearts and a weak hand. With game-invitational values, East would have bid two no-trump. (Note that a two-no-trump response is not needed as a natural call over a double, because the responder can redouble.)
    South, although he had only seven high-card points, had such a shapely hand that he was fully justified in jumping to five diamonds.
    You win with the heart ace. Do not duck, lest East shift to a spade. Then you play a trump, taking West's king with dummy's ace. What now?
    Playing the ace and a spade probably won't work, West being marked with the spade king for his opening bid. Instead, run the club king, discarding your remaining heart. West wins with his ace, but what does he do next? If he shifts to a spade, run it to your queen. If he plays a heart, ruff, cross to dummy with a diamond, and run the club jack, discarding a spade. This loses to West's queen, but you have 11 tricks: one spade, one heart, eight diamonds and one club. You lose two club tricks to get three discards.
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