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Bridge 2/28
After side tricks, chase the trumps
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    Yesterday's deal occurred during the 1978 Spingold Knockout Teams at the Summer Nationals in Toronto. This was the very next board of the match.
    After Leslie Tsou (South) opened with a one-heart bid, Marc Zwerling (North) responded two spades, a strong jump shift. This would normally show either an excellent spade one-suiter, with at least a good six-card or longer suit, or a spade-heart two-suiter with five-plus spades and four-plus hearts. So North was a heart short for his sequence, but maybe his partnership permitted only three-card heart support.
    South, looking at a singleton spade and three club losers, was not enthusiastic about a higher-level expedition.
    Against four hearts, Kyle Larsen (West) started with the club three. Remember, in general, do not lead side-suits bid by the opponents, and that short-suit leads are better than long-suit leads.
    Mike Lawrence (East) took the first three tricks with his club honors. What did he do next?
    From the point-count, South had to have the diamond ace. If so, the only chance for the defense was to win a trump trick. So East led his last club.
    The next three hands ruffed, with the heart eight, 10 and queen, respectively.
    When declarer called for a low heart, East smoothly played his six. To make the contract, South had to put in his seven. But understandably he hoped that West had ruffed from an initial three-card heart holding. Declarer went up with his heart ace and down in his contract.
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