N-S vulnerable


{spade} A 6 4

{heart} 7 5 2

{diam} K Q 10 9 4

{club} 8 2


{spade} K 8 5 2

{heart} Q 9 8 3

{diam} 6 3

{club} Q 10 3


{spade} 9 7

{heart} J 10 6 4

{diam} A J 5

{club} J 7 6 5


{spade} Q J 10 3

{heart} A K

{diam} 8 7 2

{club} A K 9 4

The bidding: SouthWestNorthEast1 NT Pass3 NT All Pass Opening lead: {heart} 3

Today's East was asleep at the switch. Cover the West and South cards and see if you can do better.

South takes the king of hearts and leads a diamond: six, king, five. He returns a club to his king and leads another diamond: three, queen, ace. How do you defend?

The actual East somnolently returned a heart, and South took the ace and forced out the jack of diamonds. The defense cashed two hearts, but South took the rest, finessing in spades, and made his game.

East must duck the first diamond, else South will surely use the diamonds. But East must still be awake enough to switch to the nine of spades at Trick Five. West's king will dislodge the ace, dummy's entry, before South sets up the diamonds, and South will fail. (If South ducks the king of spades, West shifts back to hearts.)

It's hard to construct a South hand on which East must cash his jack of diamonds and lead another heart instead of switching. If South had K Q 10 8, K 8, 8 7 2, A K Q 9, he might test the black suits instead of leading the second diamond.

Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} Q J 10 3 {heart} A K {diam} 8 7 2 {club} A K 9 4.

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

Answer: Your partner promises six or more cards in diamonds and minimum values. Ordinary hands such as K 6, 7 6, A Q J 9 6 4, Q 6 5 or 4, Q 6 5, A K J 9 4 3, Q 6 5 offer a reasonable play for slam. (In the second hand, declarer would have an extra chance if the opening lead wasn't a spade.) Jump to six diamonds.

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