N-S vulnerable


{spade} J 9 6 2

{heart} K 10 6 4

{diam} A 6 4

{club} 7 2


{spade} A Q 8 3

{heart} 5

{diam} J 10 8 3

{club} K Q 10 3


{spade} 10 7 5

{heart} 8 7 2

{diam} Q 9 5

{club} 9 8 6 5


{spade} K 4

{heart} A Q J 9 3

{diam} K 7 2

{club} A J 4

The bidding: South WestNorth East 1 {heart} Dbl2 {heart} Pass 4 {heart} All Pass Opening lead: {club} K

Icontinue a series on hold-up plays -- and when not to make them. In today's deal South cagily refused the first club, hoping West would lead another club into the A-J. West saw East signal with the five, however, and the deuce, three and four were visible. So West shifted to the jack of diamonds.

South won with the ace, drew trumps and tried a spade to his king. When West took the ace and led another diamond, South was sunk: He lost a diamond and another spade.

South's hold-up at Trick One may have looked stylish but was unlikely to gain. Moreover, a diamond shift might be fatal. South must grab the ace of clubs, draw trumps and lead a spade to his king and West's ace.

South wins the diamond return in his hand and leads another spade. If West wins, South pitches his last diamond on the jack of spades, losing a club and two spades. If instead West played low on the second spade, South would put up the jack, placing West with the queen for his takeout double.

Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} 10 7 5 {heart} 8 7 2 {diam} Q 9 5 {club} 9 8 6 5.

Dealer, at your left, opens one heart. Your partner doubles, you bid two clubs and he next cue-bids two hearts. The opponents pass. What do you say?

Answer: Your partner has a huge hand and wants you to make another descriptive bid. Since your hand is nearly hopeless, you must make the least encouraging bid possible: three clubs. He may bid five clubs next, but if he bids a new suit you'll have to raise.

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