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Bridge 5/2
The two can be a deuce of a help
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    English golfer Harry Vardon said, "Don't play too much golf. Two rounds a day are plenty."
    Don't play too much bridge. Two sessions a day are plenty.
    At the table, many players pay too little attention to the twos. They can be very informative cards.
    In this deal, take the East cards. You are defending against four hearts. Your partner leads the spade two. How would you hope to win two times two (four) tricks?
    North responded with a splinter bid, showing at least game values with four or more hearts and at most a singleton diamond. (I am not an advocate for using numerous bidding conventions, but splinter bids are highly recommended.) South, with some wastage in diamonds and three losing clubs, signed off in four hearts.
    You know that partner has led a singleton. With a doubleton, West would have led his higher card, playing high-low.
    Now count the points. Dummy has 15 and you have 12. That leaves only 13 remaining, so declarer must have the diamond ace.
    Next, think through the play. If you win with the spade ace and give partner a spade ruff, you will soon be in with the heart ace, but partner must then be out of trumps. Where is trick four coming from? The next deal!
    At trick two, shift to your club two. Declarer will win on the board and play a heart, but you win immediately with your ace and lead the spade three. West ruffs and, reading your card as a suit-preference signal, returns a club. Your ruff defeats the contract.
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