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Bridge 8/30
Do it immediately or you are down
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    English author Sir Henry Taylor, who died in 1886, wrote, "Shy and unready men are great betrayers of secrets; for there are fewer wants more urgent for the moment than the want of something to say."
    Bridge players, shy or not, should recognize when it is urgent to establish tricks. In four spades, how should South plan the play after West leads the diamond queen?
South opened with a weak two-bid, showing a decent six-card suit and 5-10 high-card points. North went for the 10-trick game.
    South has four potential losers: two spades, one diamond and one club. He has only nine sure tricks: four spades, two hearts, two diamonds and one club. The 10th winner must come from clubs, where the percentage play is low to dummy's nine, which wins when West has the K-10 or Q-10. (In contrast, low to the jack succeeds only when West has the K-Q, which is mathematically half as likely, and even worse odds than that when West does not lead the club king.) First, suppose declarer delays that club play, winning the first trick and leading a spade. East wins and returns a diamond, after which South must lose those four tricks.
    Getting that club trick established is urgent. Declarer must take the first trick in his hand and immediately play a club to dummy's nine. East wins with the king and leads back a diamond, but South takes it on the board, cashes the two top hearts, ruffs a heart in his hand, plays a club to the jack, and discards that pesky diamond loser on the club ace. Then declarer concedes two trump tricks and awaits accolades from partner.

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