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Bridge: March 19, 2023

In the club lounge, Unlucky Louie asked me if I’d heard about the barber college that fielded a football team.

“Did they win any games?” I asked.

“Not one,” Louie said solemnly. “They got too many penalties for clipping.”

Louie got clipped for 100 points in today’s deal — a painful shearing since he could have been plus 1430 points. North’s jump to four hearts showed a weak, shapely hand with good heart support. As South, Louie roared into six hearts, reasonably enough. West found the best lead of a trump. Louie won and started a crossruff that was short-lived: ace of diamonds, ace of clubs, club ruff, diamond ruff, club ruff, diamond ruff.

Louie next led the ace and a low spade. West won and led another trump, and that was the end of the contract. With three tricks to go, Louie was left with only one trump in each hand; he had to lose another trick.

“You could have made it,” North growled.

“My barber asked me how I wanted my hair cut,” Louie told me, “and I said `in silence.’ I could say the same thing about my partners and their postmortems.”

Could you make six hearts after a trump opening lead?

Louie can win 12 tricks with a crossruff, but he must not let West get in to lead a second trump. After Louie wins the first trick, his best chance is to lead a low club. East wins and leads a spade, but Louie takes the ace and discards dummy’s last spade on the ace of clubs; he has traded his spade loser for a club loser. Louie can then crossruff for the next nine tricks to bring home the slam.

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South dealer

N-S vulnerable


S J 4

H 9 5 4 3 2

D J 10 8 5 4



S K 8 6

H 8 7 6

D K 9 7 6

C J 9 4


S Q 10 9 7

H None

D Q 3 2

C K 10 8 7 5 2


S A 5 3 2

H A K Q J 10


C A 6 3

South West North East
1 H Pass 4 H Pass
6 H All Pass
Opening lead — H 8

©2023 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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