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Bridge 12/29
Three is easy, so allow for four
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    Novelist and poet Judith Viorst claimed: “Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands, and then to eat just one of the pieces.”
    In this deal, you are South, in four spades and missing five trumps. There is no problem if they are splitting 3-2. How, though, do you handle an opponent’s having four pieces including the jack?
    West leads the club queen. When should you play dummy’s club king?
    You should play the club king on the third round of the suit. West would not lead the queen if he had the ace as well. Hope that East has a singleton or doubleton ace. Here, it matters not; you lose the first three tricks. East shifts to the heart queen. After winning with dummy’s ace, how would you continue?
    Responder’s three-spade jump-rebid is game-invitational. With game values, he would bid four spades. With interest in a slam, he would use Blackwood or start with fourth-suit game-forcing (here, two clubs), then support spades on the third round.
    The problem is to avoid a spade loser. This is trivial if the missing spades are breaking 3-2 or either opponent has a singleton jack. But what if someone has four to the jack?
    If West has them, you are doomed. But if East is the guilty party, you can finesse him out of his jack.
    After winning with dummy’s heart ace, play a spade to your ace, then a spade to dummy’s king. When the 4-1 break comes to light, finesse your spade 10, draw the last trump, and claim.
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