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BRIDGE



Published: Fri, April 15, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Neither vulnerable. South deals.

NORTH

x -Q J 10 5 4

u -5 4

v-A K 10

w -Q 10 4

WEST EAST

x -K 7 x -9 8 6 3

u -Q 9 8 3 2u -J 10

v-7 5 4 3 v-9 8 2

w -K 6 w -A J 9 8

SOUTH

x -A 2

u -A K 7 6

v-Q J 6

w -7 5 3 2

The bidding:

SOUTH WEST NORTH EAST

1w Pass 1x Pass

1NTPass 3NT Pass

Pass Pass

Opening lead: Three of u

Pursuing a line that has no chance is the height of masochism. Cast around for one that might produce a far happier result.

The auction was routine. North's 12 points with a fair five-card suit and good intermediates were fully worth a jump to game.

West led the fourth-best heart and East's 10 was captured by the king. Declarer cashed the ace of spades and continued with the two to West's king, and the defender was in the hot seat.

West could account for some 25 points in declarer's combined holding. That meant the defense held a combined 15, and West was looking at eight of them. That left East with about seven points, one of which was the jack of hearts. Also, West can count declarer for at least nine tricks -- four spades, two hearts, probably three diamonds. That means the defenders needed tricks urgently, and they could only come from clubs. Despite South's opening bid, West must shift to the king of clubs and another. As the cards lie, that nets the defenders four tricks and a well-earned one-trick set.

& copy; 2005 Tribune Media Services

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.




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