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According to Cy the Cynic, his psychiatrist's secretary has two baskets on her desk, one marked "Outgoing," the other "Inhibited."

There was nothing inhibited about today's bidding: North-South reached a 20-point game after North's flimsy overcall. South won the trump lead in dummy and led a diamond: four, jack, ace. South won the next trump in his hand, threw a heart from dummy on the king of diamonds and ruffed a diamond. He took the ace of hearts and ruffed a heart with dummy's last trump, but still had a losing heart and diamond. He also lost a club: down one.

Could South justify the bidding?

South's play was unlikely to yield 10 tricks. To have a chance, he must attack the clubs. South concedes a club at Trick Two, wins the trump return in dummy, ruffs a club, takes the ace of hearts and gives up a heart.

If the defense leads, say, a third heart, dummy ruffs, and South ruffs a club to set up the long clubs. He loses one diamond at the end.

You hold: K 10 9 7 5 A 8 2 K J 7 5 3. Your partner opens one club, you respond one spade, he rebids two clubs and you try two diamonds. Partner then rebids three clubs. The opponents pass. What do you say?

A: Pass. You might risk 3NT if your 11 points included a helping club honor or more than one ace, but as it is, the defenders may set up their hearts before you can use the clubs. A typical hand for partner will be 8 6, J 5, A 9 4, A Q J 10 7 5.

West dealer

E-W vulnerable

A Q J 4
7 3
Q 7 6 5 4 2
6 2
K J 9 5 4
A 10 2
A K 10
8 3
Q 10 6
Q 9 8 6 4
J 9 8
K 10 9 7 5
A 8 2
K J 7 5
West North East South
1 2 Pass2
Pass4 All Pass
Opening lead -- 2

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