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Bridge 2/01
Have the courage to trust partner
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    Jack Benny said, "Give me golf clubs, fresh air and a beautiful partner, and you can keep the clubs and the fresh air."
    At the bridge table you would like to have a partner who plays beautifully. If she looks beautiful too, that is a bonus because she will probably distract your male opponents. (Many years ago at a Juan-les-Pins tournament in the south of France, two attractive women played one afternoon wearing see-through blouses and no bras. They had the highest score that session.)
    In this deal, East and West must have faith in each other to defeat the contract. South is in four spades. After West leads his singleton club, how should the defenders card?
    True, North has only 15 high-card points, but with just five losers (two spades, one heart, one diamond and one club), he is worth the jump to four spades. But if North rebids only three spades, South would go on to game.
    East should realize that his partner has led a singleton. (With two or three low clubs, West would not lead the two.) So East, after winning with his club ace, should return the club nine, his highest remaining club being a suit-preference signal for hearts, the higher-ranking of the two unplayed side suits. And West, after ruffing, should shift to a low heart, not cash his ace. Then East can win the trick with his king and deliver a second club ruff to defeat the contract.
    Do you think a man might also be distracted by a beautiful partner? He should not be. Remember, he is not allowed to look at his partner during a deal.
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