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The unavoidable can be avoided
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    Humorist Evan Esar said, “The girl with a future avoids a man with a past.”
Bridge players like having a past because it means they have experience of the game. It helps them to avoid errors — and sometimes, as in this deal, to avoid an apparently unavoidable loser.
    You reach four spades after West makes a three-diamond weak jump overcall, showing a decent six-card suit and some 6-10 high-card points. West leads the heart two. East wins with his ace and returns the heart 10, West rudely ruffing your royal. West returns the club queen. You try dummy’s king and ruff when East, as expected, covers with the ace. You have lost two tricks and seem to have two unavoidable heart losers. Is there any way to avoid defeat?
    After North’s jump to four spades, East should not pass. Despite the unfavorable vulnerability, his hand has far too much offensive potential. He should bid five diamonds. Even if five diamonds is going down and four spades would not have been making either, maybe the opponents will misjudge and continue to five spades. (Note that five diamonds is unbeatable.)
    You should hope to endplay West. Play a trump to the board, ruff a club in your hand, cash the diamond ace, ruff a diamond on the board, and trump dummy’s last club in your hand. Now lead the diamond jack and discard a heart from the board. After West wins the trick, he must return a minor-suit card, which concedes a ruff-and-sluff. You discard dummy’s remaining heart and trump in your hand, losing only one heart, one ruff and one diamond.
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