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Bridge 1/28
What is the defense
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    In "English Bards and Scotch Reviewers," Lord Byron wrote, "Oh, Amos Cottle! -- Phoebus! what a name / To fill the speaking trump of future fame!"
    Today "Scotch" refers primarily to whiskey. He would put "Scottish" now.
    In this deal, both sides have chances to be clever, and the trump suit has a key role. South is in four spades. West leads the heart queen. How should South plan the play? How could East-West have defeated the contract?
Despite only 14 high-card points, the South hand contains just five losers: two spades, one heart, one diamond and one club. North's single raise promises nine losers. Adding nine and five together, then subtracting from 24, gives 10 -- hence South's jump to four spades, the 10-trick level.
South sees four losers: two spades, one heart and one club.     He must eliminate that heart loser by ruffing it on the board. But if declarer plays a trump immediately, the defenders might be clever. West could rise with his ace and lead a second spade, permitting East to win with his king and play a third round, killing declarer's ruff.
Instead, South should win with his heart ace, cash the heart king, and ruff his last heart with dummy's spade jack. He must not risk East's overruffing with a low trump. Then South gets the trumps out as quickly as possible.
    West and East can defeat four spades by beginning with three rounds of trumps. A club start and spade shift is equally effective. Also, if West leads a diamond and South ruffs his heart loser, West can eventually receive a diamond ruff -- work it out!

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