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Keep control with a loser
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    Journalist Bill Lyon said, "If at first you don't succeed, find out if the loser gets anything."
    This deal features taking a loser at exactly the right moment. If you do it, you get 620 points, your contract score; if not, you go minus 100. You are South, the declarer in four hearts. West leads the spade 10. What would you do?
    You open with a textbook weak two-heart bid, showing a decent six-card suit and some 6-10 high-card points. North jumps to four hearts. He realizes that there might be four losers, but in that case, he hopes that the defense will not be perfect — which is often the case.
    You have a superfluity of winners, but you could easily lose four tricks first. Suppose you run the opening lead toward your jack. East would take the trick with his king and shift to the diamond king. The defenders would collect one spade, one heart and two diamonds.
    So you win with dummy's spade ace. Now imagine that you play two rounds of trumps before attacking clubs. East would ruff the third club and take three diamond tricks. You lose the same four tricks if you immediately play three rounds of trumps.
    The winning line is to duck the first round of trumps. So, at trick two, call for one of dummy's hearts and play a low heart from your hand. The defenders may take that trick and turn to diamonds, but if necessary you can ruff the third round on the board, play a club to your 10, draw trumps, and finish the clubs.
    Watch out for this type of control-retaining duck.
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