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by Beverly Kraft -Eric Kokish

 Bridge, like life, is a game of give and take. Today's deal provides a graphic illustration of the concept.

North-South vulnerable East deals

  K 10 9 8 7 2
10 3
8 5 4 3 2

A J 4 3
K 9 7 4 2
J 10

A 4

6 5
A J 8
Q 9

10 8 6 5 3 2

Q 6 5
A K 7 6

K Q J 9 7

West North East South
    Pass 1
Dble 1 Pass 2
Pass 3 Pass 3NT
Pass 5 End  

Opening Lead:

 South was dead minimum (we would say sub-minimum) for her reverse rebid of 2
. Because a reverse is forcing for one round and drives responder to the three-level to show simple preference for opener's first-bid suit, opener must have a strong hand. Opener has 17 points, but it is not clear that either of the major-suit queens will have any real value. 3NT would have been a ridiculous contract, but North, whose slender assets were oriented toward suit play, removed to 5.

was no thing of beauty either. A heart lead and continuation would have scuttled it immediately, but West, not unreasonably, led a trump. Declarer won and led the K, ruffing away West's ace. A second trump to hand extracted the remaining lurkers, and dummy's heart losers disappeared on the queen-jack of clubs. A promising start for declarer, who continued with the Q.

 Had West taken the
A, declarer would have made the contract easily. Declarer ruffs a heart in dummy, plays the 10 to West's jack, discarding a loser. Dummy's spades are now established and a second heart ruff provides the entry to the suit.

 But West withheld the

 Declarer, who was now in a position to lose no spades at all, saw that the key to the hand was to lose not one but two spade tricks. How odd! Declarer overtook the $Q with dummy's king and continued with the
10, discarding a heart. West won the J and led a heart, but declarer ruffed with dummy's penultimate trump and passed the 9, discarding another heart. West won the A but dummy still had a trump entry to reach the three spade winners.

 Try to make 5
without the overtaking play and double "loser-on-loser" play in the spade suit. Send us a postcard when you do.