N-S vulnerable

NORTH (D)

{spade} A 4 3

{heart} J 10 8 2

{diam} None

{club} A Q J 10 9 3

WEST

{spade} Q 9 8 7

{heart} A 9 3

{diam} Q 10 8 5 3

{club} 4

EAST

{spade} 10

{heart} K Q 7 6 5

{diam} K 9 7

{club} 8 7 6 5

SOUTH

{spade} K J 6 5 2

{heart} 4

{diam} A J 6 4 2

{club} K 2

The bidding: North EastSouth West1 {club} 1 {heart} 1 {spade} 2 {heart}3 {club} Pass3 {diam} Pass3 {spade} Pass4 {spade} All Pass Opening lead: {heart} A

"My wife's tolerance for bad bridge -- especially mine -- is lower than a carpet," a club player sighed, showing me today's deal.

After West took the ace of hearts, he led a club. My friend, South, won and led a trump to the ace and another trump.

"When East discarded, I took the king, ruffed a diamond and tried to cash some clubs, West ruffed, took his queen of trumps and led another heart, and I lost three diamonds and went down three. My wife couched her dissatisfaction with my play in forceful terms, and when I said something about bad luck, she couched me. That's where I slept last night."

South should make four spades by maintaining trump control (but he didn't deserve couching for not finding the winning play). South must take the king of trumps at Trick Three but then revert to clubs.

West ruffs and leads a heart, and South ruffs, takes the ace of trumps and leads good clubs. After West ruffs with the high queen of trumps, South has the rest.

Daily Question

You hold:

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

Your partner opens one spade, you respond 1NT and he bids two diamonds. The opponents pass. What do you say?

Answer: This problem is agonizing. You could look silly either by passing (partner may hold A 8 6 5 3, A J 3, A Q 5 2, 2) or by bidding two hearts (if his hand is A K 6 5 4, 2, A 8 6 4 2, J 4, he'll probably pass from fright). I'd fear a possible misfit enough to pass, but I'd be prepared to apologize.

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