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Give Up! Give Up! Don't Go down 3!

I'm not Jimmy V, the late NC State basketball coach who dying of cancer famously said "Don't give up! Don't EVER give up!" I'm a bridge player and sometimes I do give up because going down 1 is better than going down 2 and going down 2 is better than going down 3. Here's a hand from the 7/19 Daylight Swiss at the Vegas NABC which I hope will demonstrate the wisdom of giving up.

 

West
KJ854
AJ2
A6
832
East
A732
754
KJ82
94

                              

 I'm in 3 on a quick and optimistic 1-3 auction. North leads K and another to South. South switches to the 10. I cover with the Jack. North wins the Queen and continues a Heart which I win with the the Ace. I can afford to lose 2 Hearts and 2 Clubs if I can find the Q but on a Spade to the Ace South pitches a Heart.  Is it time to wave the white flag?

Things are definitely looking nasty. There is a tempting finesse in Diamonds but that also looks like the only way to go down 3. On the other hand if I give up on making the contract and just try to cash and ruff as many tricks as I can I may be able create an end-play for down 1. So being the coward that I am and refusing to go down 3 I cash the Ace and King of Diamonds. Now when I ruff a small Diamond South follows with the Q!

Can you feel the tide turning? I now ruff my last Club, pitch my Heart loser on the J and ruff dummy's last Heart. North can over-ruff but is end-played. +140. Ho-hum.

 

                                                 

 

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