N-S vulnerable


{spade} 7 5

{heart} K J 7 2

{diam} A 10 7 3

{club} A Q 5


{spade} Q J 10 8 3

{heart} A 10 8 4

{diam} K Q

{club} 9 8


{spade} K 9 4 2

{heart} None

{diam} J 9 8 5 2

{club} 7 6 4 2


{spade} A 6

{heart} Q 9 6 5 3

{diam} 6 4

{club} K J 10 3

The bidding: WestNorth EastSouth1 {spade} Dbl3 {spade} 4 {heart} All Pass Opening lead: {spade} Q

Foresight is good, and hindsight is better than nothing, but insight is best: A good declarer uses the bidding to "see" the concealed hands.

In today's deal East's jump-raise was preemptive. He'd have done better, at least in theory, to leap to four spades. His three spades failed to shut out South, and against the contract of four hearts West led the queen of spades.

South took the ace and carelessly led a trump to the king. When East discarded, West was sure of two trump tricks and also got a spade and a diamond. Down one.

South can infer from the bidding that West has the ace of hearts. The opening lead marks East with the king of spades, and there aren't enough points in the deck for West to have an opening bid without a high heart.

Since only West can have four trumps, South must start the trumps by leading the queen to West's ace. South can later lead through West's 10-8-4 toward dummy's K-J-7 to pick up the trumps.

This week: inferences.

Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} Q J 10 8 3 {heart} A 10 8 4 {diam} K Q {club} 9 8.

Your partner opens one diamond, you bid one spade, he rebids two diamonds and you try two hearts. Partner then bids 2NT. The opponents pass. What do you say?

Answer: Bid 3NT. Your partner may not make it, but your diamond honors will fill in his suit and give him a good chance. An option is a bid of three spades (forcing). Four spades might be a winning contract if partner had K 7, 6 5, A J 10 7 6 5, A 10 3.

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