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Experience is the name we attach to the sum of our mistakes. Today's South was experienced enough to be playing in a world championship; but, alas, he still had one mistake left to make.

South judged well to bid five hearts; he'd have collected only 300 points against five diamonds doubled. But at five hearts, South ruffed the first diamond and led the ace of trumps. West showed out, and South lost two trumps to East and a spade to West.

The deal is from the 1968 Team Olympiad, and South was (and still is) a most careful dummy player; but no depth of experience can save someone from a lapse in concentration. South must lead a low trump at Trick Two. If the defenders' trumps are split 2-1, South loses no more than one trump and one spade.

When West discards on the first trump, East wins and leads another diamond; but South ruffs and leads a low spade. He later reaches dummy with a spade honor to lead a second trump and pick up East's remaining trump honor.

You hold: 7 2 K Q 4 A K 7 5 3 J 9 5. Your partner opens one club, you respond one diamond and he then bids one heart. The opponents pass. What do you say?

A: An awkward situation: you must make sure of reaching game, but no bid is attractive at this point. You can't try 3NT with two low spades. Even though your club or heart support is deficient for a jump raise, bid three clubs or three hearts (if forcing) or bid four hearts.

North dealer

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

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