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Bridge 11/01

Win or lose, I win and you lose

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Sir Winston Churchill said, "I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals."
    That does not really have anything to do with today's deal, but it is funny. It is also true that most players would fail to make four hearts unless they looked at the opposing hands. Stop peeking! West leads the diamond queen. How would you proceed?
    North is correct to respond two hearts. If he starts with one spade and South rebids two clubs or two diamonds, when North says two hearts, he promises only two-card support, not three.
    Many a declarer would win the first trick on the board and immediately play a trump to his ace. Then, when West discards a diamond, South should fail, losing one trick in each suit. Declarer continues with his spade queen, but West plays the nine (high-low showing an even number) and East wins with his ace.
    Suppose instead that, at trick two, South plays a heart to his jack. Here, when West discards, a suspicious spectator would think that South had peeked at an opponent's hand. But a bridge player would know that he had made the correct play.
    Imagine that the heart finesse loses. West cashes the diamond jack and shifts to a club. South wins in his hand, draws the missing trump, and leads the spade queen. East takes his ace and plays a club, but South wins, leads a low heart to dummy's eight, and cashes the spade king, discarding his club loser. He wins one spade, six hearts, one diamond and two clubs.
    Win or lose, South wins and the defenders lose.
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