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ON BRIDGE

"I'm prosecuting," the D.A. announced. "The charge is failing to conceal evidence."

"That's a new one on me," frowned the judge, "but proceed."

"East took the jack and king of hearts and led the ace," the D.A. said. "South ruffed, drew trumps and lost a club finesse, and East returned a club.

"South counted East, who hadn't opened the bidding, with 11 points. Since a finesse with the jack of diamonds couldn't work, South led the jack for a backward finesse. When West covered, South won and returned a diamond to his nine to make the contract."

"I see," the judge interjected. "East knows South has only two hearts, since West's lead of the deuce suggests four. East must take the jack and ace, and lead a low heart! South ruffs, and when he attacks the diamonds later, he'll have no reason to avoid a normal finesse."

"We ask for a directed verdict of guilty," the D.A. said.

East got a light sentence. Only a super-expert would spot the best defense.

You hold: 6 3 A K J 6 10 8 5 2 K 8 7. Your partner opens one diamond, you respond one heart, and he then bids two clubs. The opponents pass. What do you say?

A: A jump preference of three diamonds is perfect if it invites game. If instead three diamonds is forcing to game, make that bid anyway. The alternative is a minimum preference to two diamonds, but you'd bid that if your ace of hearts were a low heart.

North dealer

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

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