"My partner considers herself a good player," a fan writes. "I think she's suffering from delusions of adequacy."

My fan says her partner, South, won the first heart and led a diamond to dummy's jack. East played low.

"My partner returned a diamond to her queen and led another diamond. East won with the ten and led a heart, and partner then took two tricks in each suit -- down one -- and claimed she was victimized by good defense: if East wins the first diamond and returns a heart, partner can win, cash the Q-K of diamonds and lose a diamond. She later gets to dummy with the ace of spades to cash the fifth diamond."


It's delusional to think South can make 3NT only if East errs; South must lead the queen of diamonds at Trick Two. East ducks, but when West shows out on the next diamond, dummy plays the nine.

East wins and returns a heart; but South can lead her last diamond to force out the ace and reach dummy with a high spade to take two more diamonds.


You hold: S Q J 8 5 H 9 5 D A 10 7 6 C J 10 7. Your partner opens one heart, you respond one spade and he next bids two clubs. The opponents pass. What do you say?

ANSWER: To pass might be right, but since partner may have as many as 18 points, game is possible. Your hand is too weak to try 2NT, but you can bid two hearts, giving partner another chance. Since he surely has a five-card heart suit, two hearts will be playable if he passes.

South dealer

E-W vulnerable


S A 3 2

H 6 3 2

D K J 9 4 2

C 6 3


S 10 9 6

H Q J 10 7 4

D 8

C Q 9 8 4


S Q J 8 5

H 9 5

D A 10 7 6

C J 10 7


S K 7 4

H A K 8

D Q 5 3

C A K 5 2

South West North East

1 C Pass 1 D Pass

2 NT Pass 3 NT All Pass

Opening lead -- H Q