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Bridge: May 26, 2023

“I’m giving up Autocorrect for Lint.” — graffiti

“I wish an Autocorrect feature were available when I’m declarer,” a club player told me. “It would highlight my mistakes — and show me a winning play.”

Today’s South plays at six spades after East preempted in hearts. West leads the jack of hearts. South counts 11 tricks: a heart, two heart ruffs in his hand, four trumps in dummy, two diamonds and at least two clubs. He needs an extra trick in a minor.

South’s best chance is to end-play West. South has many winning lines of play, but unless he ruffs at least one heart in his hand, removing West’s exit card, Autocorrect may set South straight.


Say South takes the ace of hearts, ruffs a heart, draws trumps and leads a low club from his hand. West must play low, and dummy’s jack wins. On the next club, East discards, and South plays low.

West wins but must concede the slam. Whether he leads a diamond or a club, South gets a free finesse and a 12th trick.


You hold: S 6 5 H K Q 10 9 7 4 2 D 10 5 2 C 6. You deal and open three hearts. The next player bids three spades, your partner doubles and the player at your right passes. What do you say?

ANSWER: Don’t even look at your hand. Pass. Your preempt described your hand, more or less, and made partner captain. He knows your hand is weak defensively but wishes to play for a penalty. He may have three spades doubled beaten three tricks in his own hand.

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East dealer

N-S vulnerable


S A 10 9 3

H A 6 3

D A 7 4

C J 5 4


S 7 2

H J 8

D Q 9 8 3

C K 10 9 8 3


S 6 5

H K Q 10 9 7 4 2

D 10 5 2

C 6


S K Q J 8 4

H 5

D K J 6

C A Q 7 2

East South West North
3 H 3 S Pass 4 H
Pass 5 C Pass 6 S
All Pass
Opening lead — H J

©2023 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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