Bridge

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Indy Lifestyle Online
It is not always easy to decide whether to hold up your guard(s) in the enemy suit or to win and retain an exit card for a possible end play. The two declarers on this deal from match play tried different approaches.

The bidding was the same at both tables: South chose to open One Club rather than One Heart and rebid Three No-trumps over his partner's response of One Spade. Diverted from his more natural club lead, West led #2 to the 3, Q and A. Both declarers took the same good view in hearts by leading low from hand to the 10 and king, but when #8 came back, their paths diverged.

One South decided to duck and, after winning the diamond continuation, tried a spade to the jack. This lost to the queen and, although East held no more diamonds, a club was returned and, after winning with the queen, West had a safe heart exit. Now, when the spades failed to behave, it was all over and South ended with only eight tricks.

The other declarer won the second diamond lead (West was marked with the missing jack), preserving his third diamond as a possible exit card. Next came the ace and another spade and, when West showed out, South won on the table and continued by cashing his three heart tricks. Then he got off lead with a third round of diamonds to West's jack. Now, after cashing his long diamond, West had no choice but to open up the clubs and so give declarer his ninth trick.

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