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Bridge: Get from here to there

Francis Bacon wrote, “Travel, in the younger sort, is part of an education; in the elder, a part of experience. He that travelleth into a country before he hath some entrance into the language, goeth to school and not to travel.”

I suppose that has a parallel in bridge. He that playeth on one suit before he hath some sort of entrance into that hand elsewhere, goeth to destruction and not to success. In this deal, how should South play in three no-trump after West leads a low heart?

North’s three clubs was a weak jump overcall, showing a good six-card suit and 6 to 10 high-card points. South bid what he hoped he could make. West wisely allowed the unfavorable vulnerability to silence him.

West, deciding that South was prepared for a spade lead, tried a sneaky heart attack.

Clearly, South needed to establish and run dummy’s club suit. However, assuming the defender with the club ace had learned the game more than an hour ago, he would know not to take the first round of clubs, but to wait until the second round. Then declarer realized that he would need a dummy entry. So, instead of taking a cheap first trick with dummy’s heart 10, he overtook with his ace and played on clubs, starting with his jack, the honor from the shorter side first.

East won the second club and shifted to a spade, but South took that trick with his ace and led a heart to force a dummy entry.

In whatever language you speak, when you are establishing a long suit in one hand, always check your entrance situation.

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