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Bridge 3/21
When you need luck, Assume luck
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    When you are the declarer, always count your tricks. If you never do this, you will effectively be flying blind, having no idea where the runway is situated. But if, when in no-trump, you check your top tricks first, you will know how many more tricks you must establish. And if you are in a suit contract, check your losers and winners, assuming you can do it in a timely fashion ... In under an hour!
    Here, you are in three no-trump. West leads the spade jack. What would be your plan? What do you think of the bidding?
    The auction is perfect! As I have mentioned before, never worry about a weak suit when opening one no-trump. It is your partner's responsibility to cover that suit. North should add one point for his five-card suit and jump to game. And as he holds a minor, he does not mention it; he lets everyone admire it when he tables the dummy.
    You have seven top tricks: two spades (given the lead), one heart, two diamonds and two clubs. So, you need two more tricks from somewhere. It is best to hope for a 3-2 diamond split, which will occur 67.8 percent of the time. However, if East has the heart king hovering over dummy's queen, you will have no way to reach the dummy if you start with three rounds of diamonds.
    Since you must lose one diamond trick whatever happens, concede it immediately. After taking the first trick, lead a diamond from your hand and play low from the board. Win the next spade and try to run dummy's diamonds. Here, luck is in and you cruise home.
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