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ON BRIDGE

If you give yourself only one chance for your contract, at least make it the best chance.

South finessed with dummy's queen of spades, and East won and led the queen of clubs. South played low, and East carefully led the 10 of clubs next, letting West know he also had the jack. When South took the ace, West unblocked the king.

South then drew trumps and cashed the ace of spades; but when he exited with a club, East won and led a diamond, and South lost a diamond and went down.

South had little better than a 50 percent chance: if the spade finesse failed, a club shift from East would be as sure as beach traffic in July. South has a far better chance if he sets up the diamonds.

South takes the first spade and leads a diamond to the queen and West's king. East wins the next spade and shifts to clubs; but South wins, takes the ace of diamonds, ruffs a diamond, leads a trump to dummy and ruffs a diamond. He can then draw trumps and throw a club on the last diamond.

You hold: A Q Q J 10 A 7 6 4 2 7 5 3. You open one diamond, and your partner responds one spade. The opponents pass. What do you say?

A: Bid one no trump, promising 13 to 15 points with balanced distribution. Even though you have no high cards in clubs, this bid is your only choice. You can't rebid two diamonds with a suit of only five cards or raise to two spades with only two-card support (even the A-Q).

South dealer

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

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