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Bridge 7/9
What card should you lead back?
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    English poet and politician Ambrose Philips, who died in 1749, wrote, "The flowers anew, returning seasons bring! / But beauty faded has no second spring."
    After third hand wins the first trick, it can be vital that he returns the right card in this suit at the second trick. This deal is a textbook example.
    Against three no-trump, West leads the club three, fourth highest from his longest and strongest. East wins with his ace and will return a club. What are the guidelines?
    North uses Stayman to try to uncover a 4-4 major-suit fit, then, when he fails, wishes he had just jumped straight to three no-trump.
    At trick two, East, with three clubs left, should lead back his lowest one. So, from A-8-7-6, he would return the six. And with four or more clubs left, East should play back his original fourth-highest. So, from A-9-8-5-2, he would return the five.
    Here, though, with only two cards left in the suit, East leads back the eight, starting high-low with a remaining doubleton.
    West takes South's club 10 with his jack and knows that he must abandon clubs because South still has the queen-seven or queen-six left. West must hope to get East on lead again before declarer has taken nine tricks.
    West would probably shift to the diamond 10, but it does not matter. South, who must establish two tricks in hearts, will immediately attack that suit. Then East can grab his ace and return his last club, giving West two more tricks in the suit and leaving the contract with no second season.
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