Both sides vulnerable


{spade} 5

{heart} 7 5 4

{diam} A K Q

{club} A Q 10 8 7 6


{spade} K 9 6 2

{heart} A J 9 6 3

{diam} 9 6 4

{club} 5


{spade} J 10 8

{heart} Q 8 2

{diam} J 10 8

{club} J 9 3 2


{spade} A Q 7 4 3

{heart} K 10

{diam} 7 5 3 2

{club} K 4

The bidding: South WestNorthEast1 {spade} Pass2 {club} Pass2 {diam} Pass2 {heart}(!) Pass2 NT Pass3 NT All Pass Opening lead: {heart} 6

"My regular partner used to be a pro gambler," a player at the club told me. "He says the only bets he makes now are mental. I think he must be betting heavily -- and losing his mind. Look at this 3NT he played."

South took the king of hearts and cashed the three top clubs. A 3-2 break would have meant 11 tricks or more, but West threw two spades.

"My partner next led a spade to his queen," I was told, "and West won and ran the hearts for down one."

South either had an aberration or wanted to gamble. Before he takes the top clubs, he should try dummy's three top diamonds.

When East-West follow, South's last diamond is good for the ninth trick; he need not risk a spade finesse. If both diamonds and clubs failed to break, South could finesse in spades or try to end-play West with a heart lead.

North's bid of two hearts, incidentally, was a "fourth-suit" bid, showing only a desire to hear South bid again. Most experts use this treatment to handle awkward auctions.

Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} A Q 7 4 3 {heart} K 10 {diam} 7 5 3 2 {club} K 4

Your partner opens one heart, you respond one spade and he rebids two hearts. The opponents pass. What do you say?

Answer: Your partner has at least six cards in hearts. If his hand were 6 2, A Q J 9 5, A 8 4, Q 10 3, he'd have bid 1NT at his second turn. Since you have 12 good points, adequate heart support and a possible ruffing value in clubs, you can attempt game. Raise to four hearts.

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