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Bridge 12/01
It is the eternal conundrum of play
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    Charles Caleb Colton, an English cleric, writer and collector well-known for his eccentricities, said,     "When we are in doubt and puzzle out the truth by our own exertions, we have gained something that will stay by us and will serve us again."
    That certainly applies at the bridge table, although sometimes we use past experience to help with a puzzle. Often, that puzzle is how to handle the trump suit. Well, what would you do on this deal? You bid aggressively to six spades. West leads the diamond king. What would be your plan?
    North's rebid, two no-trump or three clubs, according to partnership preference, warns of a very weak hand, some 0-3 points, and denies four-card or better spade support.
    Over three hearts, North does better to offer spade support than to introduce his pitifully weak diamond suit. Then, you bid what you hope you can make.
    You have two heart losers. So, if you immediately draw trumps, you will lose those two tricks and go down one. Instead, play to ruff them in the dummy. However, you must be careful. After cashing the ace and king of hearts, you should ruff a heart with dummy's spade jack. Return to hand with a diamond ruff, and trump your last heart with the spade nine, being happy to lose one trump trick to East's 10.
    Note that if you ruff the third round of hearts with dummy's spade nine, East will overruff with his 10 and, if in midseason form, lead back a trump, condemning you to a second loser.

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