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Bridge 4/16
Who should win the first trick?
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    H.G. Wells wrote, "His studies were pursued but never effectually overtaken."
    In this deal, you are sitting East. Against four spades, your partner leads the heart king. Can his card be effectively overtaken with your ace or not? If you do overtake, what would you do at trick two?
    South, when he jumped to game, knew that he could be too high, especially if his partner had three hearts. But smell a game, bid that game.
When you have ace-doubleton and partner leads the king, you should overtake with your ace so that you do not block the suit. Then, before returning your second heart, take a moment to cash the diamond ace. Play back your heart two, and partner will take two tricks in the suit to defeat the contract.
    Yes, you could immediately return your second heart. When partner takes the third heart trick, you could discard a discouraging club two, telling partner not to lead that suit; or, better, you could discard an encouraging diamond eight, asking him to shift to a diamond; or, best, you could ruff partner's trick and cash the diamond ace. If you can take control, do so -- it is much safer that way.
    Note that if you do not overtake at trick one, four spades makes. You get only two hearts and one diamond.
    Finally, suppose dummy had had J-7-4 of hearts. Would you still overtake with your ace?
    Here, you should, because you can ruff the third round. But if it were a no-trump contract, you would have to play low and hope for the best.

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