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Bridge: One more rebid problem for opener

Bob Woodward, an investigative journalist who is an associate editor for The Washington Post, said, “The central dilemma in journalism is that you don’t know what you don’t know.”

South might believe he faces a dilemma in this deal. He opens one club, which might be with only a three-card suit. When his partner responds one heart, should he rebid two clubs to confirm that he has a real club suit, or one spade to show his major?

For experienced players, this is not a dilemma. They love majors and dislike minors. South must rebid one spade. (If he rebids two clubs, he categorically denies a four-card major.) If North does not raise spades, South can bid clubs again on the next round to show his length in that suit.

Then, North has enough to raise to two spades, which promises four-card support. South re-evaluates and jumps to four spades, hoping in particular to establish and run his club suit.

West leads the diamond king. When East signals encouragingly with the 10, West continues the suit. How should South play after ruffing the third diamond?

Declarer should realize that a club discard on dummy’s heart king is a red herring. Instead, he should play to establish his club suit. The best line is to cash the club ace, play two rounds of trumps ending on the board, and lead another club. If East follows, South should put up his king, although if that is then ruffed, he will go down. Bridge often involves some guesswork.

Here, East does best to discard, but South wins, ruffs a club in the dummy, and must end with 10 tricks.

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