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Bridge 7/18
Rotate the deal for other problems
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    If you are having another dose of deja vu, do not be alarmed. This is the same deal as in yesterday's column, except that it has been rotated 90 degrees clockwise.
    Look at the North hand. With neither side vulnerable, your partner opens one spade and the next player passes. What would you respond?
    Yesterday the bidding started one spade — pass — two spades. After that, it should not have been hard for East and West to reach five diamonds. But that two-spade response does not "feel" right to me. To start, North may add three points for his singleton because he knows of a nine-card fit. That raises his count to 10 (although you may wish to discount the diamond jack). The hand has only eight losers: one spade, three hearts, one diamond and three clubs. Both of those counts suggest responding three spades, a game-invitational limit raise.
    That still feels wrong to me, though. I would pre-empt to four spades, trying to shut out the opponents. My hand shouts offense, not defense. And I am unlikely to miss a slam.
    Here, my bid ought not to succeed, because East should double and West should pull to five diamonds, but at least I tried. And maybe I will be psychic and find the heart lead to defeat five diamonds.
    Finally, is five spades doubled a good sacrifice against five diamonds making?
    Five spades doubled ought to be a tad too costly. West leads his singleton club, gets in with his spade ace, gives East the lead with each of his aces, and receives two club ruffs for down three, minus 500.
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