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Bridge 7/31
A four-level trip from Texas
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    Yesterday we looked at two-level transfer bids. It is also a good idea to adopt the Texas transfer, which occurs at the four-level. After partner opens one or two no-trump, a jump to four diamonds shows at least six hearts and the values for either game or slam. A jump to four hearts promises six or more spades and game-going or slam-going cards. With game-only values, the responder passes when the opener completes the transfer. With a hand worth a slam, the responder bids again, often using Blackwood.
    In this deal, after South opens one no-trump, North jumps to four hearts, a Texas transfer. South rebids four spades, which is forced, and North passes. West leads the heart king. How would you, South, plan the play?
    There are three top losers: two hearts and one club. But there are only nine winners: six spades, one heart and two diamonds.
    There are two chances for a 10th trick: Establish a long diamond or find West with the club ace. The latter should be kept on the back burner.
    After winning the first trick, draw one round of trumps with an honor from the board. If spades break 4-0, draw trumps and hope West holds the club ace. But when both opponents follow suit, cash your top diamonds, ruff a diamond high on the board, lead a trump to your hand, ruff a diamond high, play a trump to hand, and discard one of dummy's hearts on your diamond six. Finally, lead a club to the king in an abortive attempt at an overtrick.
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