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Bridge 12/08
Big value comes in a small package
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    New Zealand Bridge, edited by Richard Solomon, arrives bimonthly with 80 pages packed with material for everyone.
    This deal occurred nearly 21 years ago at the Australian National Congress in Canberra. Many Kiwis trek across the Tasman Sea for that tournament. You are in seven diamonds. West leads a trump. You play three rounds, East discarding a heart and a club. How would you continue?
    After South opens one diamond, West ought to bid something, despite the unfavorable vulnerability: a cautious two hearts, a compromising three hearts, or a carefree four hearts. At the table, though, he pusillanimously passed.
    South's Blackwood with a void, although not textbook, worked here.
    Since your club loser will disappear on dummy's heart ace, you only need to play the spade suit without loss. If the jack is dropping, you will have no problem. But what if an opponent holds jack-fourth or jack-fifth?
    You could cash your spade king, then play a second spade, but if West follows, you cannot sensibly finesse dummy's nine. Instead, start with a spade to dummy's ace. Here, you see the 5-0 split and pick up the suit with two finesses through East. If, however, both opponents follow, play a spade to your king. If West discards, cross to dummy with a club, pitch a club on the heart ace, and take the marked spade finesse. If East discards on the second spade, curse quietly!
    Full details are available at
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