Dec. 8, 2023 – The Mercury News


Test your dummy play in today’s deal. Cover the East-West cards. You’re declarer at a modest contract of 1NT. West leads the ten of diamonds, and East takes the ace and returns the queen — a propitious start for you, it seems.

How do you play to win seven tricks (before the defenders win seven)?

In real life, South took the king of diamonds and started the clubs. West grabbed the ace and led a third diamond. When South took the jack and led another club, East won and led a heart. West took the ace, cashed two diamonds and led a heart to East’s king. Down one.


South must lose the lead twice in clubs to set up seven winners, so he is at risk of losing three diamonds plus four top tricks in clubs and hearts. Since no shift will help the defense, South loses nothing by letting East’s queen of diamonds win the second trick. When East must shift, South has time to get the club trick he needs.

Did you find the correct and winning play at the second trick?


You hold: S 9 7 6 4 H A 3 D 10 9 8 7 3 C A 2. Your partner opens one heart, you respond one spade, he bids two clubs and you return to two hearts. Partner then bids three hearts. What do you say?

ANSWER: Your first two bids showed at most nine points and only a tolerance for hearts, not good support. Nevertheless, your partner has tried for game, and you have aces in his long suits. Bid four hearts. Partner’s hand might be 3,KQ10942,AQ,KJ84.

North dealer

E-W vulnerable


S A K J 10

H J 5

D 6 4

C Q J 9 7 4


S 9 7 6 4

H A 3

D 10 9 8 7 3

C A 2


S 8 3 2

H K 7 6 4 2


C K 6 5


S Q 5

H Q 10 9 8

D K J 5 2

C 10 8 3

North East South West
1 C Pass 1 H Pass
1 S Pass 1 NT All Pass
Opening lead — D 10

©2023 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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