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To win or not to win

Assume you’re in six spades and West leads the king of clubs. When dummy comes down, you regret having bid six after your partner indicated interest in slam and first-round club control by bidding five clubs. But it’s too late to do anything about that now, so you marshal your thoughts and try to concentrate on the business at hand.

The immediate problem is whether to take the first trick, but you should conclude that your best chance lies in ducking the king. There are two good reasons for doing this. One is that the outlook is practically hopeless if you win the trick, and the other is that by refusing to win it, you put yourself in a position where you have all the remaining tricks but one, which is the classic requirement for a successful squeeze.

After the duck, things work out beautifully. West shifts to a heart -- he can’t do any better -- and you win with the ace and cash the ace of spades and ace of diamonds before ruffing a heart in dummy. You then discard a club on the king of diamonds, ruff a diamond and play three more rounds of trumps, producing this position:


[D] 10

[C] A 7


[D] Q

[C] Q 10


[H] K Q

[C] 9


[S] 8

[C] J 8

You now lead the spade eight, and West is kaput. If he discards the queen of diamonds, you discard a club from dummy; if he discards a club, you discard a diamond from dummy. Either way, you make the slam, thanks to your farsighted play at trick one.

Bridge club results

The Northampton Bridge Club welcomes anyone who wishes to play duplicate bridge. Open pairs game: 7 p.m. every Tuesday at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center, 1 Atwood Drive, Northampton. The club manager is available at 253-3508 to assist players in need of partners. The club’s website is www.northamptonbridgeclub.com.

There were 9 tables in play Jan. 1.

North-South, overall winners: John Sedgwick-Paul Bacon, 61.31; Timothy Joder-Philippe Galaski, 60.04; Muriel Dane-Charles O’Neill, 57.46; Evelyn Chesky-Barbara Jackson, 55.78; Strata B: Muriel Dane-Charles O’Neill, 57.46; Strata C: Alan Peterfreund-Norman Brown, 43.41;

East-West, overall winners: Sonja Smith-David Rock, 56.80; Eva Cashdan-Sheldon Cashdan, 54.12; Sheila Ryan-Marilyn Schmidt, 53.21; David Laliberte-Paul Laliberte, 51.78; Kate Spencer-Daniel H. Williams, 50.15; Strata B: Eva Cashdan-Sheldon Cashdan, 54.12; Strata C: Eva Cashdan-Sheldon Cashdan, 54.12

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