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Bridge 3/14
A matching pair for North and East
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    Jean-Paul Sartre wrote, "All human actions are equivalent ... and all are on principle doomed to failure."
    Not at the bridge table! There are principles that are only doomed when partner does not understand them, or the cards are distributed so that success is impossible.
    In yesterday's deal, West led a spade against three no-trump, which he immediately learned was not the best start. Then, when he got in with the club ace, he shifted to the heart two, telling his partner that he wanted to win tricks in that suit, not in spades.
    This deal is a fraternal twin.
    You are sitting in the East chair. Against three no-trump, your partner leads the heart four: three, 10, king. Declarer plays the diamond 10: six, seven ... ? How would you plan the defense?
    Probably your first thought is to win with the diamond ace and to return the heart seven. You hope partner started with A-J-x-x-x of hearts and can cash four tricks there.
    Maybe, though, your partner has five weak hearts and four strong clubs. How do you know which?
    You don't; but you will if you have patience. Although the dummy has a guaranteed entry, you should hold up the diamond ace until partner can make a discard. Here, that is the third round. You must rely on partner to steer you in the right direction. If he throws a low club, return a heart. However, here he will pitch a heart, warning you that that suit isn't a good source of tricks. Then, you should shift to the club 10.
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