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Posted on Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 5 a.m.

Bridge column, March 9: Hope partner sees what is required

By Phillip Alder

Martha Quinn, one of the original video jockeys on MTV, said, "Demand no more out of your partner than what you are willing to give yourself."

That could be applied to bridge. However, there are times when you see that partner must do something unusual. If it is possible, make it clear to him; but if it is not, hope that he also works out what is required.

In this deal, take the West hand. You are defending against four spades. You lead the heart ace: three, nine, jack. Not fooled by South's play, you cash the heart king: seven, two, six. What would you do next?

North invited game with his three-spade response. South bid four spades because of his nice distribution.

First, count the high-card points. You have 14 and dummy has 11. That leaves only 15 for the other two players. If East has, say, the diamond queen, the contract must surely be laydown. You need East to have the spade king or ace. Then there is a possibility of gaining two trump tricks.

At trick three, do not lead the heart queen, which would say that you are cashing a third heart winner. Instead, continue with a low heart.

Now the spotlight falls on partner, East. If he ruffs low, South overruffs, cashes his spade ace, and claims. East must realize that even if he can win this trick with his low trump (South having started with three hearts), his spade king will then serve no purpose. East must ruff with his king.

This effects an uppercut. South overruffs with his ace, but must now lose two trump tricks.

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