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Bridge 4/2
Do you pick a major or a minor?
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    French field marshal Ferdinand Foch (try saying that quickly several times!) claimed: "It takes 15,000 casualties to train a major general."
    How depressing if true. And, I suppose, a few bridge players feel that they have messed up 15,000 deals in their lives. Luckily, though, most are trained after far fewer deals than that.
    But today's deal highlights a different issue. Look at only the West hand. South, on your right, opens one no-trump. Would you enter the auction despite the adverse vulnerability?
    Assuming you pass, North raises to three no-trump. What would you lead?
    When you compete against a strong no-trump, the basic policy is to get into the auction, find a fit, and get back out again. Normally, you do not think about bidding a game contract. Also, it is good to employ a method that permits you to bid one-suited and two-suited hands — for example, Cappelletti. Here, you would overcall two spades, showing a spade-minor two-suiter. (If partner dislikes spades, he asks for your minor by advancing with two no-trump.)
    Now to your lead. Since North did not investigate a major-suit fit, it is better to choose the spade four than the club eight. And here that nets the first five tricks. East wins with the ace, then returns the three, his original fourth-highest. (If he started with only three spades, he would return the higher of his two remaining cards.)
    Finally, note that if you had overcalled two spades, North and South would have been warned away from no-trump. They might have found four hearts, which is unbeatable.
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