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Bridge 7/12
An exception to the guideline
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    Swedish author and feminist Ellen Key, who died in 1926, wrote, "When one paints an ideal, one does not need to limit one's imagination."
    At the bridge table, one must not limit one's imagination.
    Yesterday we looked at finessing against partner. This occurs when third hand does not play his highest card, retaining it to kill a lower honor sitting on the board.
    This is the guideline: Ignore the ace if it is on the board. When dummy has one lower honor, and third hand holds the honor one higher than dummy's, after dummy plays low, (normally) third hand saves his higher honor when he can insert the eight or higher. And when third hand's honor is two higher than dummy's, (normally) third hand saves that honor when he can play the nine or higher.
    However, as no doubt you guessed, there are exceptions to the rule. This deal features the most common.
    South is in three no-trump. West leads the spade four. After declarer calls for dummy's eight, how should East plan the defense?
    Assuming West has led from a four-card suit, East knows that South started with two spades.
    Who has the spade ace? If South's declarer-play is reliable, it must be West. If South had ace-doubleton, he would have called for dummy's spade queen, hoping that West had led away from the king. So East should win trick one with the spade king and return the spade three (his original fourth-highest), confident that the defenders will take the first five tricks.
    Note that if East follows the "guideline," inserting his spade 10, declarer collects two overtricks.
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