Bottom-line Oriented
“At the bottom.” — on a history exam, a student’s answer to “Where was the Declaration of Independence signed?”
Today’s South saw only three losers at his 4♠. When West led the J, South took the ace and led a trump.

Dlr: East ♠ Q 10 5 4
Vul: N-S K 9 7 6
A 10
♣ J 3 2
♠ A 6 ♠ 8 3
J 10 8 5 3 Q 4 2
J 9 7 6 Q 4 3
♣ K 8 ♣ A 7 6 5 4
♠ K J 9 7 2
K 8 5 2
♣ Q 10 9
East South West North
Pass 1♠ Pass 3♠
Pass 4♠ All Pass

Opening lead — J
West saw little chance of beating the contract unless East had the ♣A. If South held a minimum hand such as
♠ J 9 8 3 2
A 2
K 5 2
♣ A 10 4,
he would not have bid game.
So West grabbed his ace and shifted to the ♣K. East won the next club and returned a club, and West ruffed for down one.
“Nice defense,” South said grudgingly.

Second Trick

The bottom line was that South lost a contract he should have made. South can fail only if the defenders get a club ruff, so he must lead a diamond to dummy’s ace at trick two and next discard a club on the .
South can then afford to start the trumps. If West wins and the defense plays three rounds of clubs as before, declarer can ruff high, draw trumps and take the rest.

Daily Question

You hold:
♠ A 6
J 10 8 5 3
J 9 7 6
♣ K 8
Your partner opens 1♣, you respond 1, he bids 1♠and you try 1NT. Partner then bids 2. What do you say?

After your 1NT, which showed at most nine points, your partner wouldn’t speculate by supporting hearts with a minimum hand. Moreover, his hand is short in diamonds, and you have little “wasted” diamond strength. Bid 4. He may hold:
♠ K 5 4 2
K Q 4
♣ A Q J 7 6

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