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"I doubt I've ever once guessed right on a two-way finesse for a queen," a fan writes, "so I wasn't about to go looking for the queen of diamonds for my tenth trick. After the defense took three spades and led a trump, I drew trumps and tried a club finesse with the queen.

"The king was wrong and I went down, but at least I had a 50 percent chance; if I finesse in diamonds, I'm sure to misguess. This way, I saved a lot of wear and tear on my brain.

"Of course, partner thought I should've tried the diamonds; he says a good player will guess right 75 percent of the time."

Even an expert might misplace the queen of diamonds here since he'd have almost no clues. The best play is a club finesse after taking the K-A of diamonds. This combination of plays gives South the extra chance the queen will fall singleton or doubleton. If it doesn't, South leads a club to the queen.

South may go down two, but 50 points is a bargain price to improve his chances for the contract.

You hold: K 5 2 A 10 9 5 K J 10 6 A Q. You open one no trump, and your partner bids three hearts. The opponents pass. What do you say?

A: Partner promises at least 10 points and probably has five good hearts. You'd usually raise to four hearts with three or more trumps or return to three no trump with two; but since you have fine support and a fine hand, cue-bid four clubs. You suggest maximum values, four good trumps and the ace of clubs.

North dealer

Neither side vulnerable
K 5 2
A 10 9 5
K J 10 6
J 10 6
8 4
8 7 3 2
K 7 6 2
A Q 8 7
Q 4
J 9 8 5 4 3
9 4 3
K Q J 6 3 2
A 9 5
North East South West
1 NT Pass 4 All Pass
Opening lead -- J

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