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Bridge 8/22
Be a realist to be happy
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    Alan Alda, most notably of "Mash" fame, said, "It isn't necessary to be rich and famous to be happy. It's only necessary to be rich."
    Not that everyone would agree with that, but if you wish to be rich after this deal, which was played for a dollar a point, it is necessary to find the right line of play. You are in three no-trump. West leads the spade king. What would you do?
    Agreed, here five clubs is preferable to three no-trump, but if North makes a habit of looking for 11-trick games with nonslam-strength balanced hands opposite one-no-trump openings, he will be a big loser in the long run.
    You start with seven top tricks: one spade, two hearts and four diamonds. Four more tricks are available in clubs, but if you dislodge the club ace, surely the defenders will cash a fatal number of spade tricks. (It is unlikely that West has exactly K-Q-10-9 of spades. If that is not the position, ducking one spade, winning the second, and playing a club requires finding spades 7-2 and the defender who started with only two spades, presumably East, having the club ace. Hardly likely, especially since West did not bid over one no-trump, which he surely would have done with seven spades to the king-queen.)
    Instead, you must try to collect four heart tricks. Cash the heart ace, in case West has the singleton queen. Then, cross to dummy in diamonds and take a heart finesse. When it wins, return to dummy with another diamond, take a second heart finesse and claim.
    Finally, book a nice restaurant for dinner because you just won $600 on this deal.
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