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Bridge 12/14
First the amateur, then the expert
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    Most bridge books have an instructional slant, giving advice on what to do. In contrast, "Bridge Master Versus Bridge Amateur" by Mark Horton (Master Point Press) looks first at an inexperienced player going wrong, then an expert getting it right.
    You can learn a lot from this book, but be aware that the author devotes more space to declarer play than to bidding and defense combined, and South isn't always the declarer.
    You are West, on opening lead against four spades doubled. What card would you choose?
    In England, South's hand is called eau de cologne after the 47-11 brand. Australians believe that one should open with a game bid when holding eau de cologne. But South, with a suit that had some holes, settled for three spades. North raised, hoping his partner was short in clubs, East made a takeout double, and you happily passed.
    At an eight-table club duplicate, seven Wests led the heart jack and finished minus 790. Declarer won on the board and cashed a second heart, discarding his losing club. Then South played dummy's diamond king. In a moment, declarer ruffed his diamond nine on the board and lost only two spades and one diamond.
    The expert led a low club. He reasoned that since North had weak spades, he held a good side suit, which was unlikely to be clubs. Fair enough, but as Horton mentions, surely it would have been even better to lead the spade ace. This couldn't cost a trump trick and would have had the advantage of providing a view of the dummy and probably an informative discard from partner.
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