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Bridge 8/14
If you need tricks, establish them
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    British author and journalist Claud Cockburn wrote, "Nothing sets a person up more than having something turn out just the way it's supposed to be, like falling into a Swiss snowdrift and seeing a big dog come up with a little cask of brandy round its neck."
    Nothing sets a bridge player up more than having something turn out just the way it's supposed to be, like establishing a suit and seeing the winner appear that you need for your contract.
    Look at this deal. What do you think of the bidding? How would you plan the play in four spades after West leads the club king?
    North transferred into spades, then raised to three spades, inviting game and promising at least a six-card suit. This was reasonable, though many players would have insisted on game (perhaps by using a four-heart Texas-transfer response). When South continued with three no-trump, hoping for six spades and three aces, North should have trusted him and passed. As you can see, that contract would have made easily.
    In four spades, even if trumps can be drawn safely, you have only nine tricks. The 10th must come from clubs or diamonds. It is reasonable to duck the first trick, hoping West will err and play another club. But East should signal with his two to warn his partner that he has no help in clubs.
    West shifts to a trump at trick two. Now you must set up a second diamond trick. Draw trumps, duck a diamond, win West's return, cash your diamond ace, and lead another diamond — mission accomplished. Cheers!
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