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Bridge 9/28
The worst is yet to come
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    Joe Paterno, coach of the Nittany Lions football team at Pennsylvania State University since 1966, said, "The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital."
    That is so true, especially at the bridge table. And you must also try to prepare for the most unfavorable distribution of the missing key cards. In this deal you are South, the declarer in four hearts. West leads a low trump. What would be your plan?
    North's second-round jump to four hearts shows four-card heart support and some 18 or 19 high-card points. It also denies a singleton or void in spades or diamonds, because he did not make a splinter bid.
    If you are unlucky, you could lose one heart, two diamonds and one club. But you have 10 winners in three spades, four hearts, one diamond and two clubs. You must just get your tricks in before they can establish theirs.
    Suppose you finesse at trick one. Here, East will win with his heart king and, if in midseason form, shift to a club. Then your contract is unmakable. East gets in twice in diamonds and can establish and cash a club trick.
    You should build up your diamond trick so that you can discard your club loser. Win with dummy's heart ace and play a low diamond from the board. Suppose East wins with his queen and shifts to a club. Take it with your ace and play another diamond to his ace. Win the next club play on the board and discard your last club on the diamond king. Then play a trump and claim, mentally thanking West for not finding a club opening lead.
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