Bridge

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Game all; dealer South

North

4K Q 7 5

!5 3 2

#A 6 4

28 5 3

West East

4J 8 4 3 4A 10 9 6

!none !Q 7 6

#K Q 10 9 #J 8 7 5

2J 9 6 4 2 2Q 10

South

42

!A K J 10 9 8 4

#3 2

2A K 7

"How do you play a trump suit of A,K,J,10,9,8,4 facing 5,3,2?" a colleague asked the other day. Without thinking, I replied that I would cash the ace and, if necessary, cross to dummy for a finesse. Then, catching his smile, I added: "But I must see the full hand." Reluctantly he showed me the North-South cards.

South opened 2!, North raised to 3! (promising at least one ace) and South cue-bid 42. North co-operated with 4#, but subsided when South bid a quiet 4!.

It was a lucky stop; 5! would have been in real trouble again the lead of #K that West chose against the mere game contract. Declarer held off, hoping for a switch, but West persisted with another diamond.

Declarer won and, with no outside entry to dummy's potential spade trick, had problems. Nothing could be done if West held all three missing trumps, and if East had them all there were still four likely losers.

I hope you found the perfect solution (missed by declarer at the table). After winning the second diamond lead in dummy, declarer should lead a trump and, when East follows, finesse the jack!

What can happen? As the cards lie, South now has 10 tricks and, if the jack loses to the queen, declarer can win whatever West leads next, draw the last trump, and establish a spade trick for a club discard. The previously entry-less dummy has now acquired one - the lowly !5 - to enjoy the spade winner.

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