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BRIDGE



Published: Thu, January 20, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Both vulnerable. South deals.

NORTH

x K Q

u 7 6 5 3

v Q 10 9 4

w Q 8 3

WEST EAST

x 10 9 6 4 3 x A 5 2

u Q 8 2 u J 10 4

v 6 5 v A 8 3

w K 7 2 w 10 9 5 4

SOUTH

x J 8 7

u A K 9

v K J 7 2

w A J 6

The bidding:

SOUTH WEST NORTH EAST

1NT Pass 2w Pass

2v Pass 2NT Pass

3NT Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: Four of x

The secret to many hands is counting: points, tricks, distribution, winners and losers -- if you can name it, you can count it!

After South's one-no-trump opening, North checked for the possibility of a 4-4 heart fit. When South denied a major, North invited game with two no trump and South accepted since he held a maximum 17 points.

West led a fourth-best spade to the queen and ace, and East returned a spade to the king. Declarer had five fast tricks. Three more could be established in diamonds and one more in clubs. While doing this, however, the danger hand had to be kept off lead. Which suit should South tackle first?

The fact that South needs tricks from both minors is the determining factor. South cannot control who holds the ace of diamonds, so the first suit to go for is clubs. At trick three South leads a club to the jack; if that wins, South abandons clubs and sets up his three diamond tricks for the game. If that loses and the remaining spade stopper is removed, South must simply hope that East holds the ace of diamonds.

& copy; 2005 Tribune Media Services




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