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Cy the Cynic wanted to borrow some books on dummy play, and I went by his place to drop them off. Cy, a confirmed bachelor, was in the kitchen washing his dish.

"I thought you never read books," I said.

"I've been making too many mistakes," Cy shrugged.

In today's deal, Cy, South, ruffed the second heart and led trumps. West won the second trump and led another heart, and Cy ruffed and took his last trump. West discarded, and when Cy led high clubs, East ruffed the third one. Cy then lost two more tricks: down one.

It's a tough hand. After ruffing the second heart, Cy can cash one top diamond and the A-K of clubs and lead a LOW club. If West then leads a third heart, Cy ruffs and ruffs his queen of clubs with the king of trumps. If instead West shifts to the ace and a low trump, Cy draws trumps and scores his queen of clubs.

Cy once gave me his definition of a bachelor: someone who has never made the same mistake once. That may be his goal at bridge.

You hold: 8 7 5 2 A J 9 J 10 8 2 10 7. Your partner opens one spade, you raise to two spades and he next bids 2NT. The opponents pass. What do you say?

A: Your partner thinks you may have a game and it may be 3NT. Since you have a minimum raise, you must reject his invitation, and since you have four trumps and two low clubs, notrump doesn't appeal. Bid three spades. If your eight of spades were the queen, you'd try four spades.

West dealer

N-S vulnerable

K 6
8 7 6 5
7 6 5 4
6 5 4
A 4
K Q 10 4 3
Q 9
J 9 8 3
8 7 5 2
A J 9
J 10 8 2
10 7
Q J 10 9 3
A K 3
A K Q 2
1 Pass2 Dbl
Pass3 Pass3
All Pass
Opening lead -- K

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