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Bridge 5/31
An endplay at month's end
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Charles M. Schulz, who put bridge into a number of his Peanuts cartoons, said, "Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia."
    Each deal must come to an end — and this one features a pretty endplay. Can you see how to accomplish it? You are South, the declarer in six spades. West leads the club king.
    North's bidding is unscientific and a tad optimistic, since he lacks so many queens. Note, though, that when North followed four no-trump with five no-trump, he announced that his partnership had all four aces and that a grand slam was possible. With a minimum opening bid, South showed his king, but if he had had considerable unannounced values, he could have leapt immediately to seven, not pedestrianly shown his king.
    Mirror distribution, when both hands have identical suit lengths, is often fatal. But here you can survive, despite two apparent losers: one heart and one club.
    Take the first trick, draw trumps, cash your three diamond winners, and exit with a club. West wins with his queen ... and does what?
    West is endplayed. If he returns a diamond or a club, you ruff in one hand and discard your heart loser from the other. So West is forced to open up hearts. His best lead is the queen, feigning someone who holds the queen and jack. But the odds favor assuming that those two honors are split, one in each defender's hand, not both in one hand. Win with the heart king on the board and play a heart to your 10.
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