N-S vulnerable


{spade} K 7 6

{heart} K J 7

{diam} 4

{club} A K 10 8 3 2


{spade} Q 9 5 3

{heart} 9 5 4

{diam} K 10 7 6 3

{club} 5


{spade} A J 10 4

{heart} 8 2

{diam} Q J 9 8

{club} Q 9 7


{spade} 8 2

{heart} A Q 10 6 3

{diam} A 5 2

{club} J 6 4

The bidding: North EastSouthWest 1 {club} Pass1 {heart} Pass

2 {heart} Pass4 {heart} All Pass

Opening lead: {diam} 6

Ican think of two kinds of alarm clocks I'd like to see invented: one you can set on Friday to go off on Monday morning, and the other to ring automatically at the first trick to wake up sleepy declarers.

Today's West led a diamond against four hearts, and South took the ace, ruffed a diamond, cashed the king of trumps and the ace of clubs, overtook the jack of trumps with his queen and drew trumps with the ace.

South then led the jack of clubs. When West discarded, South played low from dummy, but East took the queen and led a diamond. West won and shifted to a spade, and South lost two spades and went down.

How would you play the hand?

South needed an alarm clock at Trick One: He must let East's jack of diamonds win! If East returns a diamond, South ruffs in dummy, draws trumps and leads a club to the ten.

When East wins, he can't put West in with a diamond for a spade return. The best East can do is cash the ace of spades to hold South to his contract.

Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} A J 10 4 {heart} 8 2 {diam} Q J 9 8 {club} Q 9 7.

Your partner opens one diamond, you bid one spade, he rebids two diamonds and you raise to three diamonds. Partner next bids three spades. What do you say?

Answer: Partner's third bid is forcing. He'd pass if not interested in game and might have raised to two spades at his second turn with spade support but minimum values. To bid four spades would be speculative. Return to four diamonds.

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