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"It's clear to me," a fan writes, "that after you win an argument with your wife, your best move is to apologize.

"I was declarer in this deal and took the first spade with the ace, cashed the king of trumps and finessed with the jack. That lost to the queen, and West led a spade to East's king. The jack of clubs came back, and I lost three clubs and went down two.

"My wife said I should cash the ace and king of trumps, but I insisted that when the queen and four other trumps are missing, a finesse is the best chance. She said I was right -- and served me a can of tuna for supper. Now I wish I'd lost the argument."

You'd have been better off, since your wife had it right: the finesse is the best play to lose no trump tricks; but the way to play this hand is to cash the A-K. When both defenders follow low, you start the diamonds and can discard two clubs before West can ruff. You lose a trump, a club and a spade.

Kiss and make up. Truce is better than friction.

You hold: J 9 3 A J 9 8 5 A J K 6 5. You open one heart, and your partner bids one spade. The opponents pass. What do you say?

A: Bid one no trump, promising 12 to 15 points with balanced pattern. To rebid the hearts "to show five" would be wrong, since your opening bid suggested a five-card suit; a rebid of two hearts would promise a six-card or longer suit. Your only alternative, but a poor one, is a raise to two spades.

South dealer

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

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