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BRIDGE



Published: Fri, February 25, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Both vulnerable. South deals.

NORTH

x K Q 5

u A 4 3 2

v7 6 5

w K J 10

WEST EAST

x J 9 x 10 8 4 3 2

u J 10 9 8 u 7 5

vK 10 4 vJ 9 8 2

w7 5 3 2 w 6 4

SOUTH

x A 7 6

u K Q 6

vA Q 3

w A Q 9 8

The bidding:

SOUTH WEST NORTH EAST

2NT Pass 6NT Pass

Pass Pass

Opening lead: Jack of u

Some players have never come across a finesse they did not love. The expert, not satisfied with a 50 percent shot for the contract, looks for ways to avoid having to take one.

Simple arithmetic was all that was needed to reach the best contract. North added his 13 points to the 20-22 shown by South's opening bid, came up with enough for a small slam but not enough for all 13 tricks, and got there by the most direct route.

West led the jack of hearts, and declarer could count 11 tricks -- three in each major, one diamond and four clubs. The obvious play for a 12th trick was the diamond finesse, and the finesse lover can hardly wait to take it -- and go down when it loses and hearts do not break evenly. Better technicians found a sure-trick line for the contract.

After winning the opening lead in hand, declarer cashed out the clubs, discarding a diamond from dummy as East parted with two spades. Next, spades were cleared, West discarding a diamond.

All hands were now down to nothing but red cards. The queen and ace of hearts were cashed, revealing that West had started with four hearts, so declarer simply tucked West in with a heart, and West was forced to give South the fulfilling trick by leading a diamond into the ace-queen tenace.

& copy; 2005 Tribune Media Services




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