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Bridge 11/5
Do not lose sight of simple
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    Bridge deals range from near-impossible to simple, but we make some easy deals harder by not thinking straight.
    You are in six spades. West leads the club queen. East overtakes with his king and shifts to the diamond two. What would you do now?
    You opened two clubs, strong, artificial and forcing. Partner's two-diamond response would usually denote a weak hand. Your two-spade rebid promised at least a five-card suit. Partner raised to three spades to show support with some values. (His hand was a minimum. With a slightly weaker hand, he would have given the double negative first — two no-trump or three clubs, according to partnership preference — and supported spades on the third round.) You used Blackwood before bidding six spades.
    You have 11 top tricks: six spades, three hearts and two diamonds. You cannot establish and cash dummy's fifth club. That requires four dummy entries — three for the ruffs and one to reach the new winner — and you have only three: dummy's trumps.
    A low-card lead usually promises an honor in that suit, so you might take the diamond finesse. But opponents can be notoriously unreliable when defending against a slam.
    There is a much simpler plan. Win trick two in your hand, draw two rounds of trumps, and cash your three hearts, discarding a diamond from the board. Then, take your second top diamond and ruff your last diamond on the board. Finally, table your remaining cards, all high trumps.
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