Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - by Phillip Alder

Louis Sachar, an author of chil­dren’s books, said, “I write in the morn­ings, two or three hours ev­ery day, and then at least four times a week I play in a du­pli­cate game at a bridge club. I try to go to tour­na­ments three, four, or five times a year.”

It is al­ways great to hear about some­one who thinks bridge is good for his or her ca­reer.

In to­day’s deal, though, the win­ning de­fense isn’t child’s play. South is in four hearts. West leads the spade two, and East takes dummy’s king with his ace. How should East plan the de­fense from there?

When North jumped to three clubs, South could have re­bid a game-forc­ing three hearts, guar­an­tee­ing at least a six-card suit, but he knew that a slam was im­pos­si­ble, his hearts were self-suf­fi­cient, and his club ace sug­gested that three no-trump would not be best. So he signed off in four hearts.

West’s low-spade lead from length in­di­cates at least one honor in the suit. So East can see three win­ners: two spades and one heart. Where is the fourth trick?

East can place the club ace with South; oth­er­wise, his four­heart bid was overly am­bi­tious. Also, from West’s open­ing lead, East knows that South started with three low spades. If only the de­fend­ers could re­move dummy’s trumps and cash those spades.

How­ever, note that if East cashes the heart ace and plays his sec­ond heart, de­clarer will draw West’s last trump and run the clubs.

At trick two, East must shift to his low heart. Then South has no an­swer.

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