N-S vulnerable

NORTH

{spade} A Q 10 9 3

{heart} J 10

{diam} J 5 4

{club} K 4 3

WEST

{spade} 7 6 5

{heart} 8 7 2

{diam} Q 10 8 6 2

{club} Q 8

EAST

{spade} K J

{heart} K 4 3

{diam} A 9 3

{club} J 10 9 6 5

SOUTH (D)

{spade} 8 4 2

{heart} A Q 9 6 5

{diam} K 7

{club} A 7 2

The bidding:SouthWestNorthEast1 {heart}Pass1 {spade}Pass1 NT Pass3 NT All Pass Opening lead: {diam} 6

"One of these days," Cy the Cynic fumed, "I'm going to pluck those glasses off her nose and stomp on them."

Cy was referring to Minnie Bottoms, my club's senior member. Her old bifocals make her mix up kings and jacks, usually to her opponents' chagrin.

Minnie fixes Cy more than anyone else. In today's deal, West led a diamond against Cy's 3NT, and Minnie, East, took the ace and returned a diamond to Cy's king. Cy then needed the next eight tricks. Good luck in hearts would give him five hearts, two clubs, a diamond and a spade, but for an extra chance, Cy led a spade to the ace next. Minnie followed with . . . the king!

Congratulating himself, Cy returned a club to his ace and let the eight of spades ride, expecting five spades, two clubs, a heart and a diamond. Minnie produced the jack of spades and led her last diamond, and down Cy went. "I'd have made it against anyone but Minnie," Cy growled. "If she plays the jack on the first spade, I'll finesse in hearts."

Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} A Q 10 9 3 {heart} J 10 {diam} J 5 4 {club} K 4 3.

Your partner deals and passes, the next player passes and you open one spade. Your partner bids two hearts. The opponents pass. What do you say?

Answer: Your partner didn't open the bidding, and you opened with subminimum values, hence game is impossible. Since you have heart tolerance, pass. If you bid again, you'll suggest legitimate opening values and may induce partner to get too high.

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