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Bridge 10/4
Three-two is easy; how about four-one?
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    Mary Hemingway said, "Worry a little bit every day and in a lifetime you will lose a couple of years. If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry. Worry never fixes anything."
    That might be true about life, but at the bridge table it can pay to worry about bad breaks, especially in the trump suit. When we are missing five trumps, we tend to assume they will divide 3-2 because that will happen 67.8 percent of the time. If we can, though, we should allow for a 4-1 split, which has an a priori probability of 28.26 percent.
    In this deal, you reach four spades. West leads the diamond ace and continues with the diamond king. What would be your plan?
    West bravely made a weak jump overcall at unfavorable vulnerability. And if East had been equally worry-free, he would have jumped to five diamonds, which goes down only one if West guesses clubs correctly.
    Note North's three-spade raise. After a weak jump overcall, responder may bid one level higher than he would have done without the intervention.
    Suppose you ruff the second diamond and play a trump. East will duck. You lead another trump, but East withholds his ace again. Now you must play on hearts to escape for down one.
    Since you have a guaranteed club loser, discard it at trick two. Then, if West leads a third diamond, ruff it on the board to keep your five trumps intact. You play on spades and cruise home.
    Note that four hearts fails if West gets a spade ruff.
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