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Posted on Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 5 a.m.

Bridge column, December 10: Which chances should be tried?

By Phillip Alder

Winston Churchill said: "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."

In this week's deals, one side or the other has done better by refusing a trick that could have been won. In this layout, declarer has numerous chances for his 12th trick and must decide in which order to try them.

How should South play in six diamonds after West leads a trump?

South's two-diamond response, a strong jump shift, showed either an excellent one-suited hand or a two-suiter with diamonds and clubs (the opener's suit). North, with excellent minor-suit cards, raised diamonds. Then South, judging that North was unlikely to have at best queen-high clubs, launched into Blackwood.

Declarer has 11 top tricks: one spade, one heart, seven diamonds and two clubs. He should see that he might get the 12th winner from hearts or clubs. But which suit should he attack first?

Usually, the more cards in a suit, the better. However, what is the best play for three club tricks?

The correct line is to draw trumps and cash dummy's ace and king of clubs. When the queen does not appear, South plays a spade to his ace and leads a club toward dummy.

Note that if East started with queen-four of clubs, the heart finesse would still be available as a last resort.

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