North-South vulnerable


(S) K Q 9 8 4

(H) None

(D) A Q J 6 5

(C) 9 6 2


(S) A J 10 6 5

(H) Q 9 6

(D) 10

(C) A K J 4


(S) 7

(H) J 10 7 4 2

(D) K 7 4 3 2

(C) Q 10


(S) 3 2

(H) A K 8 5 3

(D) 9 8

(C) 8 7 5 3

The bidding:

West North East South

1 (S) 2 (D) Pass 2 (H)

All Pass

Opening lead -- (C) K

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In today's deal from a major event, Mike Lawrence asks how many tricks South won. As Lawrence says, the deal is an example of how not to handle a misfit: North courted trouble when he bid two diamonds with length in spades, West's suit, and no hearts; his pass to two hearts was an attempt to survive.

West shifted to the ten of diamonds at Trick Two. South finessed, and the roof fell in. East won, cashed the queen of clubs and gave West a diamond ruff. West took two more clubs and the ace of spades; and East ruffed the next spade and led another diamond. South ruffed, West overruffed and East got two more trumps. Down six!

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You hold: (S) K Q 9 8 4 (H) None (D) A Q J 6 5 (C) 9 6 2. You open one spade, your partner responds 1NT, you bid two diamonds and he bids two hearts. The opponents pass. What do you say?

ANSWER: Take your medicine and pass. Partner has a weak hand with long hearts; he'll win tricks only if hearts is trumps. Down two is likely, but you'll make things worse if you bid again. Good opponents will start to double, and a four-figure penalty is possible.

(C) 1999, Los Angeles Times Syndicate