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ON BRIDGE

You're today's declarer, and the defense gives you rough going at four hearts.

East takes the ace of trumps and returns a trump. You win and consider leading a club next, but if someone took the ace and led another trump, you'd be in bad shape: if you next led a spade from your hand, you'd lose two clubs and at least one spade; if you first ran the diamonds to throw a club, you'd have to lead a spade from dummy, losing two spades.

Even if the defender with the ace of clubs didn't have the last trump to lead, he might beat you by leading a diamond; the defense might get a diamond ruff.

So you decide to draw the last trump. You run the diamonds to pitch a club and lead the king of clubs. East wins, and you ruff the next club and lead a spade. West plays low.

East had two low diamonds and the aces of clubs and hearts. If he had the ace of spades, he would have doubled North's one diamond. You put up the king of spades -- and make your game. Well done!

You hold: Q 10 9 2 A 9 8 6 3 A 9 8 7. Dealer, at your left, opens one heart. Your partner doubles, and the next player raises to two hearts. What do you say?

A: Your partner promises good spade support and has at least minimum opening values. Since you'll have a chance for game if he has extra strength, jump to three spades to invite. You'd compete with a bid of two spades if your ace of hearts were a low heart.

North dealer

Neither side vulnerable
NORTH
K J 4 3
7 6 3
A K J 10 2
K
WEST
A 7 6
10 5
5 4
Q 10 6 5 4 2
EAST
Q 10 9 2
A 9 8
6 3
A 9 8 7
SOUTH
8 5
K Q J 4 2
Q 9 8 7
J 3
North East South West
1 Pass 1 Pass
1 Pass 2 Pass
2 Pass 4 All Pass
Opening lead -- 5

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