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Bridge 1/19
Play the tricks in your mind
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    Stanislaw Lem, a Polish writer and physician, said, "Where do consequences lead? Depends on the escort."
    At the bridge table it becomes: "Where do consequences lead? Depends on the declarer."
    Well, what would be the consequences of your line of play on this deal? You are in four spades, and West leads the club two.
    Your three-club rebid is called a help-suit game-try. It announces game interest and particularly draws your partner's attention to clubs. It might look ambitious with only 13 high-card points, but with good controls (aces and kings), a singleton and six losers (one spade, two hearts, one diamond and two clubs), your hand is strong enough. North has the club ace and a singleton, so is happy to jump to the vulnerable game.
    West might have led the heart four, but since South's rebid is often made with a weak club holding, his actual lead is sensible — and here it is easily best.
    Clearly, you will ruff your two heart losers on the board. But if you follow second hand low at trick one, you will be in the wrong hand at trick four. The play would go: club king, heart ace, ruff a heart, and ... what? If you exit with a diamond from the dummy, an astute East will put in the 10 and shift to a trump. Instead, win trick one in the dummy, play a heart to your ace, take the first heart ruff, return to your hand with a club to the king, and take the second heart ruff. Then you run the spade jack and cruise home to 10 tricks.
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