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Bridge 3/20
Pitch and finesse In the right suits
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    We have been looking at declarer's finding the best way to gain the extra tricks that he needs to make his contract. Yesterday, he had to find two honors onside. Today, he isn't so desperate, but he requires some courage to make the best play.
    South is in three no-trump. West leads the diamond queen. Bad news: Dummy's king loses to East's king. Good news: The defenders take only four diamond tricks. How should South continue?
    If you were North, would you look for a 5-3 spade fit? If so, how?
    Taking the bidding question first, I would not ask partner to show three-card spade support. With five such weak spades and four of my seven points in queens, I would prefer the nine-trick game. But if I were going to ask, I would rebid three clubs (or three diamonds, if playing New Minor Forcing at the three-level).
    South has six top tricks: one spade, four hearts and one club. The key point is to realize that if the club finesse is failing, the contract cannot be made. If, though, the club finesse is winning, declarer can take four club tricks and nine in all. So, risking numerous undertricks, South must discard his spade queen on the fourth diamond.
    He takes the spade shift and plays a heart to dummy's queen. What club should he lead now?
    Since declarer is on the board for the last time, he must call for the club nine. (Work out why leading the queen should fail.) When the nine wins, South runs the club queen, takes a third club finesse, and claims.
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