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Rose, the member of my club whose generosity toward partners and opponents alike has earned our admiration, was West in today's deal. South brushed aside East's feeble intervention and bid an aggressive grand slam.

As the opening leader, Rose thought for a few moments and tabled a trump - and East couldn't resist a caustic comment: "If I'd bid diamonds, would you have led a spade?"

Rose smiled and said nothing. South drew trumps and counted 12 tricks: four trumps, a ruff, six hearts and a club. He therefore led a heart to dummy and tried a club finesse with the queen. Down one.

"It didn't matter this time," East observed, "but next time, please lead my suit."

Rose tactfully said nothing. Tact is not admitting you were right in the first place. If Rose's opening lead is a spade, South makes the grand slam on a dummy reversal. He ruffs, takes the A-Q of trumps, ruffs a spade and gets back to dummy with the jack of hearts to draw the last trump and claim.

You hold: 9 7 3 9 3 2 9 8 2 K 10 3 2. Your partner opens two spades (strong), you respond 2NT and he bids three hearts. The opponents pass. What do you say?

A: If you had a sure trick besides your three trumps, you'd jump to four spades, lest partner think your hand was utterly hopeless. Here, your king of clubs may not be a useful value, and a jump to game may overexcite partner. Settle for a return to three spades.

South dealer

Both sides vulnerable


K 10 2 J 6 Q J 7 4 8 7 5 4

WEST 9 7 3 9 3 2 9 8 2 K 10 3 2

EAST A Q J 8 6 5 4 5 4 10 5 J 9

SOUTH None A K Q 10 8 7 A K 6 3 A Q 6

South West North East 2 Pass 2 NT 3 4 Pass 5 Pass 7 (!) All Pass Opening lead - Choose it

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