N-S vulnerable


{spade} Q J 4 3

{heart} A 4

{diam} A 8 5 2

{club} Q 6 4


{spade} K 10 8 5

{heart} K J 9

{diam} K 9 6

{club} J 10 7


{spade} 9 7 6

{heart} 10 2

{diam} Q J 10 3

{club} A 9 8 2


{spade} A 2

{heart} Q 8 7 6 5 3

{diam} 7 4

{club} K 5 3

The bidding: North EastSouthWest1 {diam} Pass1 {heart} Pass1 {spade} Pass2 {heart} All Pass Opening lead: {club} J

You're only young once. After that, you must blame your mistakes on something else.

South won the first club with the king and led the ace and a low trump to his queen. West won and led the ten of clubs: six, deuce, three. When East won the next club, he led the queen of diamonds, and South took dummy's ace and led the queen of spades to finesse. West produced the king and cashed a diamond and his high trump for down one.

"What happened?" North asked South innocently. "Did a moose fly by and distract you?"

Since South was a veteran player, he couldn't blame it all on youthful inexperience. Anyone can go down by forgetting to count losers. South had six possible losers but could avoid a diamond loser by setting up a spade winner in dummy.

After South wins the first trick, he leads the ace and a low spade. West wins, and the defense takes two clubs and shifts to a diamond, but South can win and pitch a diamond on a high spade. He then starts the trumps and is safe.

Daily Question

You hold:

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

Your partner opens one club, you bid one spade, he raises to two spades and you try 2NT. Partner then bids three clubs. The opponents pass. What do you say?

Answer: Partner's bidding suggests only three spades, long clubs and minimum values. With a stronger hand, he'd have made a more aggressive bid at his third turn. Pass. If he has a hand such as A J 3, Q 6 5, 4, K Q 9 8 5 2, you need to stay where you are.

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