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By Frank Stewart
Monday, October 4, 2010

No free cocktail service in today's deal -- but you can place your bet: Will an expert declarer make six clubs when West leads the king of spades?

All depends on whether declarer picks up the hearts. Since he has eight hearts, a losing finesse to East's queen seems normal. The actual declarer took the ace of spades, ruffed a spade and led a diamond. East won and led a trump, and South took the A-K of trumps, ruffed his low diamond in dummy, cashed the ace of hearts and ruffed a spade. He then ran his trumps.

HEART PITCH

After 10 tricks, South had the king of diamonds and two hearts; dummy had a spade and the K-J of hearts. When South led his high diamond, West had to pitch a heart to keep a high spade. Dummy threw the spade.

South then led a heart at Trick 12, and West played low. South knew West's last card was the queen of spades, so he put up the king of hearts to drop East's queen and make the slam.

Expert declarers know when to try for a "show-up squeeze." DAILY QUESTION

You hold: S A 10 9 4 H A K J 8 6 D Q C 8 4 3. You open one heart, your partner bids two clubs, you rebid two hearts and he tries three diamonds. What do you say?

ANSWER: No doubt you can make 3NT, and many players would bid it. In my opinion, the hand has too much slam potential to sign off at 3NT. Your partner would pass with a hand such as 5, 4 3, K J 10 7, A K Q 10 6 2. Bid four clubs. To show support for your partner is a bidding principle.

South dealer

Neither side vulnerable

NORTH

S A 10 9 4


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