Both sides vulnerable


{spade} 6 3

{heart} J 10 4

{diam} A Q J

{club} J 10 9 5 4


{spade} Q 10 5 4

{heart} K 9 7 5 2

{diam} 4

{club} Q 6 2


{spade} J 7 2

{heart} 8 6 3

{diam} K 10 7 2

{club} 8 7 3


{spade} A K 9 8

{heart} A Q

{diam} 9 8 6 5 3

{club} A K

The bidding:SouthWestNorthEast1 {diam}Pass2 {diam}Pass3 NTAll Pass

Opening lead: {heart} 5

"My wife must feel insecure," Unlucky Louie told me. "She asked if I loved her more than I loved bridge."

"Did you soothe her?" I asked.

"I asked her whether she meant rubber bridge or duplicate," said Louie.

I watched Louie as declarer in a Chicago game. He took the queen of hearts and huddled . . . and a gleam appeared in his eye. He cashed the A-K of clubs; led a diamond to the ace, disdaining a finesse; led the jack of clubs; and threw his ace of hearts! (You could almost hear the sound of trumpets.)

West took the queen but was helpless. If he led the king and a low heart, dummy would win, giving Louie two hearts, four clubs, a diamond and two spades. West actually led a spade, but Louie won and led a diamond to set up his ninth trick.

"Only way to make it!" Louie exulted.

Louie reminds me of a golfer who can't break 100, but when he makes a long putt on the 18th green, he can't wait to play again. Louie's rare triumphs erase his frequent miseries.

Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} A K 9 8 {heart} A Q {diam} 9 8 6 5 3 {club} A K

The dealer, at your right, opens one club. You double, and your partner bids one heart. The opponents pass. What do you say?

Answer: You must bid again with your extra strength, but no action is ideal. You can't raise the hearts, a bid of one spade would suggest a longer suit, and a bid of two diamonds would suggest a better suit. Try 1NT, showing a balanced hand slightly too strong to overcall

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