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Bridge 5/22
A strong jump is two-way
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    Marcus Valerius Martialis, who died in A.D. 103, asked, "Why do strong arms fatigue themselves with frivolous dumbbells? To dig a vineyard is worthier exercise for men."
    Hear, hear!
    This week we are looking at responder's bidding with strong hands. I like the strong jump-shift, but it has been waning in popularity. I prefer to play this bid as two-way: Responder has either an excellent one-suiter, or a two-suiter: his suit and partner's suit.
    Here, after South bids two spades, North rebids two no-trump to find out whether his partner has spades and more spades, or spades and hearts. South's jump-rebid promises a solid suit. Then North bids what he thinks his partner can make.
    Against six spades, West leads the diamond queen. How would you, South, plan the play?
    You have only 11 top tricks: seven spades, one diamond and three clubs. You do not have the time to play a heart, because West will win with his ace and cash a diamond. You must discard your heart loser on dummy's club ace, then ruff your last diamond on the board.
    So, unblock your king-queen of clubs, play a spade to dummy's nine (noting the 3-0 split), and discard your heart jack on the club ace. Then concede a diamond, win the next trick in your hand, ruff your last diamond on the board, and claim 12 tricks: the 11 listed above and that diamond ruff.
    The curious can check why with this layout declarer cannot afford to cash the spade ace at trick two.
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