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Bridge 11/29
Turn the dials on a combination
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    Philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, whose political ideas influenced the French Revolution, wrote, "Falsehood has an infinity of combinations, but truth has only one mode of being."
    At the bridge table, usually there is only one right line of play. The rest are, sort of, false. In this deal, you are South, the declarer in four spades. What is the true way to handle the trump-suit combination? West cashes two diamond tricks, then shifts to a heart.
South opened two no-trump, showing 21 or 22 points. It was lucky that North used Stayman, because West would surely have taken the first six tricks in diamonds against three no-trump.
    You must avoid two trump losers. This requires finding East with at least one honor. (If West has the doubleton king-queen, you are out of luck. You must accept that you will lose two tricks to such an unlikely holding.) But you may need to play spades through East three times. To do this, you must be careful with your trumps.
    Take the third trick on the board with the heart ace and play a low spade to your 10. Here, it loses to West's king. Let's say that he tries a second heart. Win in your hand and lead your low club to dummy's jack. Then call for the spade jack, running it if East plays low. Assuming the jack holds, take a third spade finesse, draw East's last trump, and claim.
    What happens if your spade 10 wins trick four? Continue with a low spade from your hand, just in case East began with king-queen-fourth.
    Tune in tomorrow for a dose of deja vu.
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