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Bridge 6/12
Peel your eyes for problems
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    Some bridge players keep their eyes wide open, watching every card like the proverbial hawk. But most pay little attention. After a trick is turned over, many will know the suit played, but few will have noted the exact cards.
    This deal requires care — can you spot how to make three no-trump? West leads his fourth-highest heart. You try dummy's queen, but East produces the king. How would you continue?
    Some Wests would bid with that hand, vulnerability be darned. And to be honest, it is not such a bad thing to do as long as you have a system to show a two-suiter, and your partner understands that against a strong no-trump you get into the auction, hope to find a fit, and get back out again. You do not go hunting for game unless you have a great fit and excellent distribution — short suits. Note that East-West can make three hearts with a good trump guess.
    There seem to be nine easy tricks: three spades, one heart and five clubs. But did you notice the bump in the road? When you start playing the clubs, you must unblock dummy's five, six and seven under your ace, king and queen. Then dummy's three will be squashed by your four, and you can cash the two to get those five club tricks. If you call for — or, even worse, your partner plays unasked — the club three on the first, second or third club trick, you will win the fourth club trick on the board and never see your hand again.
    Look closely at the spots, and say every card to yourself as it is played.
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