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Bridge 1/12
From one foot to the other
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George Burns cracked: "You know you're getting old when you stoop to tie your shoelaces and wonder what else you could do while you're down there."
    In yesterday's deal, declarer endplayed an opponent to save himself a guess in the club suit. Today, let's balance the books with a deal in which a defender can help kick declarer off the rails.
    You are East, defending against three no-trump. Your partner leads the spade 10. Declarer wins in his hand and runs the heart nine to you. How would you defend?
    After the dummy comes down, always count the points. South's opening bid promised 15-17 points, the North hand contains 12 high-card points, and you have 13. What does that leave for West? Zilch.
    To defeat the contract, you must establish your diamond suit, get back in, and cash your winners. But declarer can finesse in clubs and get a fast nine tricks via four spades, one diamond and four clubs. You must dissuade him from taking the club finesse, and you do that by taking trick two with the heart ace, not the queen. Then you lead the diamond king. South will probably duck, let you win the next trick with your diamond queen, and perforce take the third diamond.
    Confident that West has the heart queen, declarer will surely play a heart to dummy's 10. But you will produce the queen from an ankle sock and take two diamond tricks to defeat the contract.
    If you win the second trick with the heart queen, South might still go down — but he might not. Your deceptive play is sure to work.
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