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Here's a classy holiday gift idea: the 2005 Daily Bridge Calendar. This desktop calendar offers a deal a day from a top writer.

Eddie Kantar provided today's deal. West's 1NT showed 15 to 17 points. He cashes three hearts and leads the queen of clubs, and South wins and draws trumps. How should South play the diamonds, Kantar asks, if West's trumps were (a) J-x; (b) Q-x; (c) Q-J?

In (a) West has shown 10 points in the major suits plus the Q-J of clubs: 13 in all. So West has the ace of diamonds but not the jack. In (b) he has shown 14 points; he has the jack of diamonds but not the ace. South knows what to do.

In (c) West has shown 15 points; he can't have the ace of diamonds but MAY have the jack. "You must prepare for the postmortem if you get the diamonds wrong," Kantar says. "Since West might not have opened 1NT with two unstopped suits, play him for the jack. At least you'll have an excuse when East wins."

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You hold: A K 10 5 4 7 6 5 Q 10 4 A 2. You open one spade, and your partner bids two hearts. The opponents pass. What do you say?

A: A rebid of two spades or a bid of 2NT would not be too bad, but a raise to three hearts is best. Partner promises five or more hearts. If he had a four-card suit, he'd have an option: two of a minor suit (perhaps, as a temporizing action before showing spade support, in a three-card minor suit) or 2NT.

West dealer

Neither side vulnerable

9 8 7 6
J 10 9
K 9 8
K 6 5
Q 3
J 7 5 2
Q J 9 4
J 2
8 4 3 2
A 6 3
10 8 7 3
A K 10 5 4
7 6 5
Q 10 4
A 2
West North East South
1 NTPassPass2
Pass3 All Pass
Opening lead -- Q

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