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Subj:   Bridge Challenge #5 (S510b)
From Chapter 6 - "Reading the Cards", page 88

From the book Winning Declarer Play
by Dorothy Truscott
Published in 1969 by
Harper and Row

 West S - Q J 9 6 4 3 2 H - 5 4 D - J 9 7 C - 4 North S - K 8 H - Q 10 8 7 D - A 10 5 C - A 6 3 2 South S - A 7 5 H - A K J 9 6 D - 8 C - K Q 9 7 East S - 10 H - 3 2 D - K Q 6 4 3 2 C - J 10 8 5

The contract is 7 Hearts in the south and the opening lead is the five of hearts.

You have eleven tricks off the top and have to find two more tricks.

South wins the opening lead and draws the trumps in two rounds.  The contract is a lay-down, with a normal 3-2 club break, and it can also succeed as the cards lie provided declarer is aware of the distribution.  Obviously the thing to do is to count the opponents hands before tackling the club suit.  After drwaing trump, declarer cashes the diamond ace and ruffs a diamond.  Now he cashes the king and ace of spades, ruffs a spade in dummy, and another diamond in his hand.  East discards two diamonds on the second and third round of spades, and declarer has all the information he needs.  West is known to have started with seven spades, two hearts, and at least three diamonds.  Therefore, he can have at most one club.

South leads a club to the ace and returns a small club.  If East follows with a low one, declarer finesses the nine and makes the rest of the tricks.  And if East splits his honors, declarer covers and returns to dummy with a trump to take a club finesse next time.

Nothing that declarer did in this hand could be described as difficult, yet 99 percent of all bridge players would go down in thw grand slam.  And they would blame the disaster on the unlucky club break.

Acquire a habit of counting your opponents cards and you won't need so much luck.

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This is one example from Dorthy Truscott's book "Winning Declarer Play."  Buy the book, read it, and rereat it a dozen times.  I guarantee it will improve your bridge game.

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