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The ACBL's 1998 Spring Championships in Reno were its largest ever, with 14,000 tables in play over ten days.

Put thousands of players in one of the gambling capitals of the world and you'd expect some high-rolling bidding and play. In today's deal, East's two spades was a weak two-bid, promising a fair hand with a six-card suit. South's 3NT seems reasonable; but West's double looks rather speculative, and North's final pass was a refugee from the blackjack tables.

West mulled his opening lead for quite a while, which doesn't speak highly for his double. He finally decided a spade lead might help South and hence tried the eight of hearts.

South took the king and rattled off eight club tricks. West threw some diamonds, and South eventually took three diamonds as well, scoring 1350 points. The opening lead cost a little matter of 2750 points, since the lead of the ace of spades would mean down five, minus 1400 points.

This week: more action from Reno.

You hold: 10 8 4 3 2 K 4 A 10 3 K J 5. Your partner opens one heart, you bid one spade and he next bids 1NT. The opponents pass. What do you say?

A: Bid 2NT. Partner, who has 12 to 15 points, will go on to 3NT if his hand lies in the maximum range. Since you have two tens and a five-card suit, you might bid 3NT yourself. But your suit is ragged; and if partner has 2-5-3-3 pattern and minimum values, nine tricks aren't likely.

East dealer

N-S vulnerable
7 5
K 7 5
A Q 10 8 7 4 3 2
A 9
A Q 9 8 3
J 9 6 4 2
K Q J 7 6 5
J 10 6 2
Q 8
10 8 4 3 2
K 4
A 10 3
K J 5
East South West North
2 Pass Pass 3
Pass 3NT Dbl Pass(!)
Pass Pass
Opening lead -- Choose it

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