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Bridge 11/28
Count tricks and watch entries
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    Radio personality Al Boliska said, "Do you realize if it weren't for Edison we'd be watching TV by candlelight?"
    At the bridge table, the closer you watch the cards — however they are illuminated — the better.
    In this deal, though, South had to watch his entries. He was in three no-trump, and West led the club two. How should declarer have planned the play?
    Some would open one diamond with that North hand. They would argue that the suit is stronger than the hearts, and that when they bid two hearts on the next round, they have reversed and so shown the strength of their hand. Wrong! Open in the higher-ranking of two five-card suits. If you open one diamond, then rebid two hearts, you guarantee that your diamonds are longer than your hearts. And after one heart — one spade, North's three-diamond rebid is game-forcing, not cheese. True, North might have only four diamonds, but that cannot be helped. Then, when South bids three no-trump, promising at least one club stopper but not implying any more than six points, North should pass.
    South has eight top tricks: one heart, five diamonds and two clubs. The ninth trick is available in spades, but only if South has a hand entry. He must win the first trick with dummy's club king, then call for the spade queen (perhaps after cashing the diamonds).
    If South plays dummy's club jack at trick one, he can be defeated. East covers with the queen, and the defenders can stop South's spade king from winning a trick. They can take one spade, two hearts and two clubs.
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