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Today's declarer was a born pessimist -- the kind of person who looks both ways before crossing a one-way street. Hence he wasn't surprised when he won the first diamond with the queen, led a trump from dummy to his ace and found trumps breaking 5-0.

South led another trump to the queen and looked both ways, but East still couldn't produce a trump. South then took the ace of diamonds and led the three top hearts. West ruffed and shifted to the king of clubs and then a low club, and East took the nine and ace, defeating the contract.

South was headed down a one-way street to disaster when he tried to run the hearts. After South takes the ace of trumps, he must cash the ace of diamonds and then only two of the top hearts. He next gets to his hand with a trump and leads the king of diamonds to discard dummy's last high heart.

South can then ruff his own last heart with the jack of trumps, cash the queen of trumps and win his tenth trick with the 10 of trumps.

You hold: A K 10 3 9 7 2 K 4 2 8 7 2. Your partner opens one diamond, you bid one spade and he raises to two spades. The opponents pass. What do you say?

A: Bid three spades. Your partner's hand may be worth as much as 15 points in support of spades. Although he may have only three trumps, and you have balanced distribution, your strong trumps and king in his suit make your hand worth a try for game.

North dealer

Both sides vulnerable

Q J 7 2
J 6 4 3
9 8 6 5 4
10 8
J 10 9 8
K 5
J 6 5 4 3
7 6 5 3
A Q 10 9
A K 10 3
9 7 2
K 4 2
8 7 2
North East South West
1 Pass 1 Pass
4 All Pass
Opening lead -- J

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