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Bridge: Jan. 4, 2023

“You and I know that nobody is perfect,” a club player said to me. “Men make mistakes. But men who play bridge with their wives hear about them sooner.”

He had been East in today’s deal, defending against 3NT.

“My wife was West and led a low heart,” he told me. “Declarer took my ten with the king and led the queen of spades, and I routinely played low. Declarer then switched gears and let the ten of clubs ride. I took the king and returned a heart, but declarer had two hearts, four clubs, two diamonds and a spade.”

MISTAKE

“My wife didn’t waste any time: She got on my case even before declarer cashed his ninth trick. She said for me to duck the first spade was a mistake.”

When your partner leads a long suit against notrump, it’s a principle of defense that you should strive to win a trick and return the lead, setting up partner’s suit while he retains an entry (or you have an additional entry). If East correctly grabs his ace of spades to return a heart, South fails.

DAILY QUESTION

You hold: S K J 10 5 H 8 7 3 D 7 4 3 C A J 3. The dealer, at your left, opens two hearts (weak). Your partner doubles, and the next player bids three hearts. What do you say?

ANSWER: Your partner’s double might have obliged you to bid at the three level, hence his hand is worth 16 points or more. He will usually have support for all the unbid suits. Bid four spades. You would bid three spades to compete if your ace of clubs were the queen.

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South dealer

N-S vulnerable

NORTH

S K J 10 5

H 8 7 3

D 7 4 3

C A J 3

WEST

S 8 4 2

H Q 9 6 5 2

D Q J 5

C 8 4

EAST

S A 9 7 3

H J 10 4

D 9 8 2

C K 6 2

SOUTH

S Q 6

H A K

D A K 10 6

C Q 10 9 7 5

South West North East
1 C Pass 1 S Pass
2 NT Pass 3 NT All Pass
Opening lead — H 5

©2022 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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