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Mulling it over

Assume you’re in four hearts and West leads the king of spades. You win with the ace and can see four apparently certain losers — one spade, two hearts and a club.

This is, of course, discouraging, because it seems you’ve bitten off more than you can chew. But, as a conscientious player, you start thinking about how the opposing cards might be divided that would permit the contract to be made.

After you mull the matter over for a while, it occurs to you that you may actually be able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat if the opposing diamonds are divided 3-3.

You therefore play three rounds of diamonds, ending in your hand. When both defenders follow suit throughout, you’ve successfully negotiated the first hurdle. You now move on to the second.

You lead your fourth diamond, discarding a spade from dummy regardless of what West plays. As the cards lie, it does not matter how the opponents elect to defend:

1. If West discards, East has the choice of ruffing with the ace or discarding. In either case, you eliminate the spade loser and make the contract.

2. If West ruffs the diamond with the seven, you’re still in good shape. This is because, as soon as you regain the lead and play a trump, the A-K come tumbling down together. Here, too, you lose only the ace of clubs and two trump tricks.

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 & 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 12 tables in play Jan. 22.

North-South, overall winners: Paul Bacon-Philippe Galaski, 68.56; Muriel Dane-Myrna Butler, 62.50; James Hastings-John Sedgwick, 55.11; Evalyn Glickman-Roger Miller, 53.79; Barbara Jackson-Henry Hewitt, 52.27; Michael Starr-Lee Magee, 51.70; Strata B: Barbara Jackson-Henry Hewitt, 52.27; Strata C: Michael Starr-Lee Magee, 51.70;

East-West, overall winners: Sonja Smith-David Rock, 66.10; Roger Webb-Timothy Joder, 60.23; James Kaplan-Charles Jackson, 56.25; Eva Cashdan-Sheldon Cashdan, 54.73; Don Weld-Paul Laliberte, 53.41; Strata B: Eva Cashdan-Sheldon Cashdan, 54.73; Strata C: Kate Spencer-Daniel H. Williams, 49.05

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