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Today's deal from the Blue Ribbon Pairs at the ACBL Fall Championships shows what bizarre results modern bidding methods can generate.

South's bid of three spades artificially showed a long, solid suit -- not necessarily spades. West passed, expecting another chance to act. Alas, North passed, figuring his partner had spades, and East, with honors in the other suits, also thought spades was South's "solid" suit.

Since the trumps split badly, South was not a favorite to make three spades. West cashed two high trumps, then led the ten of clubs. Declarer took dummy's ace and led a diamond, but West ruffed and led another club.

East took the jack and king and led a diamond for West to ruff. At the end West led a heart, and South misguessed by playing dummy's king. Down eight.

East-West were plus 400 points but feared they'd get a poor matchpoint result: They could make six spades! But at many tables North-South played at diamonds, losing 300 points at most.

You hold: 10 9 8 A 7 4 2 Q 8 K J 6 4. Your partner opens one diamond, you respond one heart, he bids two clubs and you raise to three clubs. Partner next bids three hearts. What do you say?

A: Your partner has extra strength and wants to go to game, otherwise he'd have passed at three clubs. His bidding shows a hand short in spades: He may hold 3, K 10 6, A K J 7 4, A 9 5 2. Since all four of your honors are useful, jump to five clubs.

East dealer.

E-W vulnerable.

K J 10 8 3
10 7 4
A Q 7 5
A K Q 7 6 5 4 2
Q 6 5
10 2
10 9 8
A 7 4 2
Q 8
K J 6 4
A K J 9 6 5 3 2
9 8 3
East South West North
Pass3 (!)PassPass(!)
Opening lead -- Q

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