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A long suit is easier to establish when it contains plenty of honors. Give today's South the A-Q-J of diamonds and no honors in spades, and he easily takes five diamonds, two hearts and two clubs.

In the actual deal, South worked on the diamonds by leading low to dummy's king at the second trick; but since continuing diamonds wouldn't help, he led a club and let East's queen win. South took the next spade and cashed the A-K of clubs; but when West discarded, South won only eight tricks.

Since dummy has weak diamonds and only one entry, South must be careful. He leads a diamond at Trick Two and plays low from dummy.

South wins the spade return, leads another diamond and puts up the king if West plays low. South then loses a diamond, setting up two diamonds with the king of spades for an entry.

South's actual play works if clubs break 3-3 and diamonds do not, but the winning play is slightly better: it produces an overtrick when the diamonds come in.

You hold: K 5 2 6 2 K 9 7 5 3 7 5 4. Dealer, at your left, opens one diamond. Your partner doubles, and the next player passes. What do you say?

A: Bid one no trump, promising six to nine points, balanced distribution and at least one trick in the opening bidder's suit. You can't pass for penalty; for that action you'd need diamonds such as Q-J-10-9-3. Before I'd pass, I'd pretend I had four spades and bid one spade.

South dealer

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

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