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Bridge 1/31
Look out for the warning sign
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    Civil rights leader Whitney M. Young Jr. said, "Support the strong, give courage to the timid, remind the indifferent, and warn the opposed."
    At the bridge table, you are opposed by two people. (Yes, some think they are opposed by three people: their opponents and their partner!) You should assume that these opponents are doing their utmost to defeat you. Whenever a contract looks easy, do not be indifferent to any dangers. Try to work out how to survive.
    In this deal, you stop in five spades after Blackwood tells you that two aces are missing. West leads the diamond two. What would be your line of play?
    Although three of North's 19 points are the doubleton queen-jack of clubs, he is worth his four-spade rebid (which, if you use splinter bids, denies a singleton or void). His hand has only five losers: two spades, one diamond and two clubs. South is assumed to have nine losers for his one-level response. Adding five to nine and subtracting from 24 gives 10: hence North's 10-trick-level rebid.
    Many players would play a trump at trick two, then complain they were unlucky when East took the trick with his spade ace, cashed the club ace, and gave his partner a diamond ruff to defeat the contract.
    Especially since North's opening bid was one diamond, West's lead has all the aura of a singleton. First cash dummy's top hearts, discarding your remaining diamond. Then turn to trumps and claim shortly thereafter.
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