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Bridge 11/6
It is easier when on paper
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    Noel Coward said, "My dear boy, forget about the motivation. Just say the lines and don't trip over the furniture."
    Yesterday's deal would not have tripped up many players at the table. Today's is different. Don't peek at the East or West hand before deciding how you would plan the play in four spades. West leads the diamond ace, under which East signals enthusiastically with his 10. West cashes the diamond king, then plays a third round. East wins with his queen and shifts to a heart. What now?
    Yes, East might have bid three clubs, but he had such sterile distribution. Be wary of 4-3-3-3 when planning a suit contract.
    It looks as though you need the heart finesse to work. But there is one other possibility, unlikely as it seems: East might have the doubleton or tripleton club king.
    Win with your heart ace, play a trump to the board, cash the club ace, discarding the heart five, ruff a club in your hand, return to dummy with a trump, and ruff another club.
    Here, the king appears, so play a spade to dummy's queen and discard your heart jack on the club queen. If, though, the club king does not drop, cross to dummy with a spade and take the heart finesse.
    Yes, the defense could have been stronger. West could have led his low diamond at trick two, East winning with his queen and returning a diamond. Then West shifts to a low club. The temptation to play dummy's queen would be too strong for most players. However, any pair who defends like that wins world titles.
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