Both sides vulnerable

NORTH (D)

{spade} K 8 6 3

{heart} J 4

{diam} K 10 9 6 2

{club} J 3

WEST

{spade} A 5

{heart} 10 8 6 5 3

{diam} Q J 5 3

{club} A 7

EAST

{spade} Q

{heart} 9 2

{diam} A 8 7 4

{club} K Q 10 8 6 2

SOUTH

{spade} J 10 9 7 4 2

{heart} A K Q 7

{diam} None

{club} 9 5 4

The bidding: North EastSouthWestPassPass1 {spade} Pass 2 {spade} 3 {club} 3 {spade} 4 {club}4 {spade} All Pass Opening lead: {club} A

Some problems, such as snow and adolescence, will disappear if you ignore them long enough, but today's declarer has a trump-suit problem that won't disappear.

After the defenders took the ace and queen of clubs, East switched to the nine of hearts. South won in his hand and led the jack of trumps. When West played the five, South pondered and let the jack ride. Down he went, losing two trump tricks.

Do you see how South might solve his problem?

South should try a discovery play (my topic this week). He wins the first heart with dummy's jack and leads the king of diamonds. When East plays the ace -- only a superhuman East would play low -- South ruffs and can place West with the ace of spades: If East held two aces plus long clubs headed by the K-Q, he'd have opened the bidding. So South next leads the jack of trumps but puts up the king if West plays low.

It's possible West started with A-Q-5 of trumps, but then either East or West might have bid more.

Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} A 5 {heart} 10 8 6 5 3 {diam} Q J 5 3 {club} A 7.

With both sides vulnerable, the dealer, at your left, opens one heart. Your partner bids two diamonds, and the next player raises to two hearts. What do you say?

Answer: Your partner should have sound values to overcall vulnerable at the level of two, and he is marked with a void in hearts. Bid six diamonds. Even a minimum hand such as K J 4, None, A K 10 9 4 2, 8 6 5 3 will offer a play for 12 tricks.

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