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Bridge 4/5
A singleton shown on the second round
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George Burns said, "If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn't ask me, I'd still have to say it."
    A single (ton) can be the key to accurate slam bidding. And it can be shown using a splinter bid. So far this week, we have been looking at splinter bids that tell partner about the great fit. But it is possible to make a splinter once a fit is known to both partners — as in this deal.
    First, though, if you were South, the declarer in six spades, how would you plan the play after West leads the diamond queen?
    Over West's takeout double, North's two no-trump showed a game-invitational limit raise in spades. Then South's four-club jump-rebid was a splinter, revealing a singleton (or void) in clubs. This lowered North's loser count from eight (the number for a limit raise) to six (worth a slam-try). The next three bids showed first-round controls in those suits. Finally South, with his excellent trumps, jumped to six spades.
    There is no need to rely on one heart finesse winning. Instead, organize an elimination and endplay. After winning with dummy's diamond king, cash the club ace, ruff a club in your hand, draw two rounds of trump ending on the board, ruff another club, lead a diamond to dummy's ace, trump the last club, and ruff a diamond. Now play a heart to your 10, which endplays West. He must either lead away from his second heart honor or concede a ruff-and-sluff.
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