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Bridge 12/21
Do you prefer two, or more?
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    Comedian and author Joey Adams said, "Of course, it's very easy to be witty tomorrow, after you get a chance to do some research and rehearse your ad-libs."
    It is also easy to be clever tomorrow — once a deal has been completed — after you get a chance to do some analysis and see how you could have made your contract or broken theirs. Much better, though, is to do your research before the key point of the deal arrives, not to ad-lib your way through all 13 tricks.
    In this deal, you are South, in four hearts. West leads the spade queen. You ruff the third round of the suit and draw trumps (they break 2-2). What next?
    At first glance, perhaps you thought that you would need one of the minor-suit finesses to work, which should happen about three times in four. But your chances can be improved significantly.
    After drawing trumps, cash your two top diamonds. Does the queen drop? If so, you can try the club finesse for an overtrick. If not, continue with your diamond jack. Does East win the trick? If so, he is endplayed, forced to lead a club into dummy's king-jack or to concede a ruff-and-sluff. If not, West must shift to a club to keep the defense alive. Play low from the dummy. If East plays a low card or the queen, claim. Should he turn up with the 10, win with your ace and lead a club to dummy's jack.
    You succeed unless West has the diamond queen with at least two more diamonds and East has both the queen and 10 of clubs — in which case you were fighting a lost cause.
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