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Card play at bridge embraces both declarer play and defense. Hundreds of books have beenwritten about it. Our approach here, as in our previous books, is to focus on a particular deal type. Repeated experience with a theme makes it easier to recognize deal types and employ the appropriate techniques for each.
A common and important line of play is elimination play, eliminating the side suits to removes an opponent’s safe exit cards before throwing him in to make a fatal lead. More than most other deal types, endplays require planning and preparation. In this as in our previous books, we show deals as they were misplayed at rubber bridge or its sister form of contest, team play at IMPs.
Usually you will see a deal in which declarer falls short of his contract by one trick. Do not concern yourself with overtricks. In the forms of contest assumed here, making and breaking contracts is the objective.
Take each misplayed deal as a challenge to find a better line---usually one that works, but no guarantees. An 80% play fails 20% of the time, but is significantly better than a 60% play and much better than a 40% play.
James Marsh Sternberg, MD