Both sides vulnerable

NORTH

{spade} 9 7 2

{heart} 9 2

{diam} A Q 10 9 6 5

{club} 6 3

WEST

{spade} J 5

{heart} K J 6 4

{diam} 8 7 2

{club} 10 9 8 4

EAST

{spade} K 10 8 6 3

{heart} Q 10 8

{diam} K 4

{club} 7 5 2

SOUTH(D)

{spade} A Q 4

{heart} A 7 5 3

{diam} J 3

{club} A K Q J

The bidding: South WestNorthEast 2 NT Pass3 NT All Pass Opening lead: {club} 10

When I watched today's deal in a Chicago game at the club, North was Grapefruit, our member with the disposition of a traffic cop with heartburn.

At the second trick South let the jack of diamonds ride for a finesse. East smoothly played low, and South continued with a diamond to the queen. East won, and steam rose from Grapefruit's bald head.

East returned a club, and South won, cashed two more clubs and led the ace and a low heart. The defense took three hearts and led a spade. South scored his queen and ace but lost a spade at the end, and Grapefruit told South that if he took a job as an idiot, he'd be overqualified.

How should South play?

South should lead a low diamond to dummy's ten at Trick 2. If East ducks, South tries a spade to the queen next. When that finesse wins, South has nine tricks and will take 13 when the ace of diamonds drops the king.

If the spade finesse loses, South still makes 3NT if West has the king of diamonds.

Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} J 5 {heart} K J 6 4 {diam} 8 7 2 {club} 10 9 8 4.

Your partner opens one spade, and after two passes the player at your left bids two diamonds. Your partner rebids two spades, and the next player bids three diamonds. What do you say?

Answer: Bid three spades. Your partner has a good hand and a good suit, hence you can compete at the level of three. Your heart honors may be useful: Since partner's hand is short in diamonds, he may have length in hearts.

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