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Bridge 5/14
When balanced, invite cautiously
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    English poet W.H. Auden, who lived much of his life in the United States, wrote, "O for doors to be open and an invite with gilded edges."
    This week we are looking at responder's issuing an invite to game. When partner opens one no-trump, showing 15-17 points, the responder invites game with nine points (or eight and a decent five-card suit). Here, North responds two clubs, Stayman, looking for a 4-4 heart fit. And when South shows four hearts, North raises to invite game. (Did you think that with a 4-4 fit, you could add one shortage point, which would get you up to 10, making your hand worth a jump to game? That is reasonable, but bear in mind that balanced hands are less productive than unbalanced hands; they have more losers. Three hearts is sufficient.)
    West leads the spade king. The defense takes three tricks in the suit, then shifts to a diamond. How should South continue?
    Assuming declarer can draw trumps, he has 10 tricks: four hearts, four diamonds and two clubs. This is easy if the hearts break 3-2, but what if someone has four to the jack? That can be handled only if East has the length. South wins with his diamond ace (the honor from the shorter side first), cashes his heart ace (or queen), and plays a heart to dummy's king. When the break is revealed, declarer finesses his heart 10, draws the last trump, and claims.
    Do not overlook the power of 10s -- here, the heart 10 in the South hand.
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