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ON BRIDGE

Technique and deception are both part of good dummy play; but sometimes you must let the two work together.

In a team-of-four match, both Souths at four spades saw they'd lose a diamond and might lose two trumps. The object was not to lose a second diamond.

At the first table, South took the king of hearts and immediately led a diamond -- technically correct. East captured dummy's jack and led a trump; and West took the queen and ace and led a third trump. South then ran all his winners but lost the 13th trick to West's 10 of diamonds.

The second South had a better plan: he won the first heart in dummy and led a sneaky jack of diamonds -- a fake finesse. East could have beaten the contract by taking the ace to shift to a trump, but thought South might have the K-10 of diamonds. To give South a guess, East played low.

When South's "finesse" succeeded, he led another diamond. This time East had to take his ace or lose it; and South made his contract.

You hold: K 10 9 8 6 K 7 K Q 7 6 A K. Your partner opens one heart, and the next player passes. What do you say?

A: Bid one spade. Since you have 18 good points and a five-card suit, slam is possible. Nevertheless, this hand isn't suitable for a jump shift to two spades. You need room to locate your best contract, which may be at spades, hearts, diamonds or notrump. Jump only when you have an idea where you'll play the hand.

South dealer

North-South vulnerable
NORTH
J 7 3
A 5 4 2
J 3
10 8 7 3
WEST
A Q 5
J 10 9
10 9 5 2
J 4 2
EAST
4 2
Q 8 6 3
A 8 4
Q 9 6 5
SOUTH
K 10 9 8 6
K 7
K Q 7 6
A K
South West North East
1 Pass 2 Pass
4 All Pass
Opening lead -- J

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