By Frank Stewart
Monday, November 1, 2010

Some people seem to treat patience as a waste of time, but it's a virtue when you're declarer. Avoid a line of play that leaves you with no second chance.

In today's deal, South took the ace of clubs and cashed the A-K of trumps. Next, he tried the diamonds: He took the A-Q and led a third diamond.

If diamonds had split 3-3 or if East, with the missing trump, had held four diamonds, South would have been safe. But as it was, East ruffed and exited with a club. South threw a heart and won in dummy, but East got the king of hearts at the end. Down one.


South displayed a lack of patience. At Trick Two he can lead a heart toward his queen. When East takes the king, South can later draw trumps and discard his fourth diamond on the king of clubs.

If West had the king of hearts, South would win the club return, discarding a heart, and would still have a chance by drawing two rounds of trumps as before and testing the diamonds.

This week: having it all.


You hold: S K 7 2 H A 6 3 D Q 5 3 C A K 5 2. Your partner opens one spade, you respond 3NT and he bids four diamonds. What do you say?

ANSWER: Your 3NT promised a balanced 16 or 17 points. Your partner has a shapely hand and may be interested in slam. Since all of your honors look useful, a preference bid of four spades would be timid. Cue-bid four hearts. If partner has A Q 8 6 3, 2, A K 10 7 2, 7 6, he'll be a heavy favorite at six spades.

North dealer

Both sides vulnerable

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