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DAILY BRIDGE CLUB

In a matchpoint event at the ACBL Fall Championships, North-South reached 3NT after North's "transfer" response of three diamonds, showing length in hearts.

West expected 3NT to make for at least 600 points: He tried four spades, hoping to lose no more than 500 points. South could have doubled -- best defense would collect 800 -- but went to 4NT.

The battle was for the second overtrick (vital at matchpoints). West led the jack of clubs, and East took the ace and shifted to spades. When a player leads from J-9 in a suit his partner has bid, he normally leads the jack to unblock, but here that lead was a fatal error.

South took the ace and cashed his red-suit winners. With five tricks to go, West had to save three clubs and the Q-8 of spades, whereupon South took the K-Q of clubs and led his last club, forcing a spade return into the K-10. Making five.

If East leads the nine of spades at Trick Two (or almost anything else), he holds South to 10 tricks.

You hold: J 9 Q 10 8 6 4 8 6 4 3 A 4. Your partner opens one spade, you respond 1NT and he bids two clubs. The opponents pass. What do you say?

A: Bid two spades, proclaiming a weak hand with spade tolerance. Since partner promises five or more spades, this should be a safe contract if he passes. A bid of two hearts would show a hand such as 9, K 10 8 6 4 2, 8 6 4, A 4 2. A bid of 2NT would suggest J 9, Q 10 8 5, A Q 9 4, J 5 4.

East dealer.

N-S vulnerable.

NORTH
4 2
J 9 7 3 2
A K J 9
5 3
WEST
Q 8 7 6 5 3
5
5
J 10 9 8 2
EAST
J 9
Q 10 8 6 4
8 6 4 3
A 4
SOUTH
A K 10
A K
Q 10 7 2
K Q 7 6
East South West North
Pass2 NTPass3
Pass3 Pass3 NT
PassPass4 (!)Pass
Pass4 NT All Pass
Opening lead -- J

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