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Bridge 7/17
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    Yesterday I mentioned that when you have an unbalanced hand and a suit-fit with partner, do not worry much about point-count. You will win more tricks than two balanced hands with the same combined point-count would produce in no-trump.
    First: With neither side vulnerable, East opens one spade. What would you, South, do?
    Second: Suppose you pass. West raises to two spades, your partner makes a takeout double promising length in the three unbid suits, and the opener passes. What would you do now?
    Third: You reach five diamonds. West leads the spade king. How would you plan the play?
    On the first round an aggressive player would bid three diamonds, a weak jump overcall, but that is crazy with such a poor suit. Pass is sane.
    On the next round, though, since your hand has great offensive potential with the known good diamond fit, you must jump to four or five diamonds. (Four-and-a-half diamonds feels perfect!) You must not bid three diamonds, which would promise nothing.
    In five diamonds, you have only 10 tricks: one spade, one heart, six diamonds and two spade ruffs on the board. Your 11th trick will have to be the club king. But given West's lead, which revealed five high-card points, East must have the ace. Hope that he has at most three clubs.
    Win with your spade ace, draw two rounds of trumps, and duck a round of clubs. After East wins with his jack and shifts to the heart king, win with dummy's ace, ruff a club in your hand, trump a spade on the board, and ruff another club. When the ace appears, you can claim.
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