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Bridge 8/27
The winning play is tough to see
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    Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, "Truth is tough. It will not break, like a bubble, at a touch; nay, you may kick it about all day like a football, and it will be round and full at evening."
    This deal is tough because the right play would not occur to many players. South is in four hearts. West kicks off with the three top diamonds. What should declarer do?
    Many players would ruff the third diamond, play a club to the dummy, and take a trump finesse. Then there is good news — the finesse wins — and bad news — the contract is now unmakable. East's heart king cannot be captured, and South has an unavoidable spade loser.
    It is also not good enough to cash the heart ace at trick four and continue with the heart queen. East ducks this trick, takes the next trump, and leads his remaining diamond, forcing out declarer's last heart.
    South needs to win these 10 tricks: two spades, four hearts — be willing to lose one trump trick — and four clubs. But to get four club tricks (unless the missing six cards unexpectedly split 3-3), declarer must have drawn trumps first.
    After ruffing the third diamond, South should lead the heart queen from his hand. If East wins and plays a diamond, declarer ruffs on the board, draws trumps, and claims. If East ducks, South continues with the heart jack. East has no defense. If he ducks again, declarer enters dummy with a club and takes a heart finesse to play the suit without loss. And if East takes his heart king, declarer still has a trump on the board to ruff a diamond.
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