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Bridge 11/19
Assuming the worst is for the best
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    English author Samuel Butler, who died in 1902, wrote, "Words are not as satisfactory as we should like them to be, but, like our neighbors, we have got to live with them and must make the best and not the worst of them."
    Some words are poorly chosen (not these!), and some neighbors do not peacefully coexist, but thankfully they are in a minority.
    You are the declarer in three no-trump. West leads his fourth-highest spade, and East puts up the jack. How would you plan the play?
    How many top tricks (instant winners) did you find? It should have been six: two spades and four diamonds. You can get three tricks from clubs if West has a doubleton ace (assuming you would lead twice toward the dummy) or singleton ace, or they split 3-3.
    Here, that line would fail. East would take the first club and return a spade, setting up West's suit. And since you would have to play a heart eventually, East would grab his ace and lead his last spade, giving the defense three spades, one heart and one club.
    You are happy to have West on lead, because he cannot play spades without giving you a third trick in the suit. You must try to make it expensive for East to grab the lead. Play a diamond to the board and call for a low heart. How does East defend?
    If he ducks his ace, you win with your heart king and shift to clubs, getting two spades, one heart, four diamonds and two clubs. If he rises with his heart ace, you collect two spades, three hearts and four diamonds.
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