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ON BRIDGE

Anyone who profits from a mistake is probably getting alimony; but today's declarer misplayed his game and made a profit anyway.

South ruffed the third club, drew trumps, cashed all three hearts and led a diamond from dummy. When East followed low, South played the nine. West took the queen but had to concede the contract: a diamond return would give South a free finesse, and a club would let him ruff in dummy and throw the jack of diamonds.

"The percentage play worked," South nodded. "I win if East has the 10 of diamonds or if he has the king-queen and plays an honor."

"You made your bid," West snorted, "but your play was wrong."

South got home because East misdefended: East must put up the king on the first diamond. South can't get back to dummy and loses two diamonds whether or not he takes the ace.

After South draws trumps, he should take the A-K of hearts and return a diamond to his nine and West's queen. Later, South finesses with the jack.

You hold: 5 4 3 2 K Q J 7 3 2 K 9 4. Your partner opens one club, you bid one spade and he then bids two hearts. The opponents pass. What do you say?

A: Partner's two hearts is a "reverse" and suggests extra strength (since you might be obliged to return to clubs at the level of three despite a terrible hand). Bid three clubs. Though your hearts are robust, you shouldn't raise his second suit with three-card support.

North dealer

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

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