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BRIDGE



Published: Sat, January 29, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Neither vulnerable. South deals.

NORTH

x A 10 8 5

u 7 4 2

v 9 3 2

w A K 5

WEST EAST

x ? 3 x ? 7 2

u J 9 8 6 3 u A 10

v K J 5 v Q 10 7 4

w 10 8 7 w J 9 6 2

SOUTH

x K J 9 6

u K Q 5

v A 8 6

w Q 4 3

The bidding:

SOUTH WEST NORTH EAST

1NT Pass 2w Pass

2x Pass 4x Pass

Pass Pass

Opening lead: Six of u

In a vacuum, if you have a two-way finesse it is a guess which way you take it. But bridge is not played in a bell jar. There is usually some information to make your choice an informed guess.

Many players do not believe that, after partner's opening one-no-trump bid, you should check for a 4-4 major-suit fit on a hand that does not include a ruffing value. This deal illustrates why the majority would simply raise to three no trump with the North hand.

West led the six of hearts to East's ace and the ten was returned, declarer winning with the king as West followed with the three. At three no trump, declarer could afford to lose a spade and still have nine tricks. At four spades, however, there are two unavoidable diamond losers so you have to pick up the queen of spades to make your contract. Which defender do you intend finessing for the lady, and why?

If you think there is no clue, you don't understand the theory of distribution. Here, the play to the first two tricks marks West with five hearts and East with only two. That means that West has eight unknown cards and East, with only two hearts, has 11 unknown cards and hence East has more room for the queen of spades. Play the odds. Cross to the ace of spades, run the ten and hope the fates are being kind this day, or you may go down two tricks.

& 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.




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