Share this article

print logo


If Ralph Nader is looking for a new world to conquer, he might investigate this whole business of drawing trumps, which vexes so many players.

In today's deal North's double was "negative." The defense cashed two spades, and East then led a trump. South took the A-K and demanded an investigation when West discarded. After South drew all the trumps, leaving him with none, he cashed four clubs, but West won the last two tricks with the ace of diamonds and a spade. Down one.

If South leads a diamond at Trick Five, West grabs the ace and leads another spade. South must ruff, and East then has more trumps than South.

To handle a 5-1 trump break (about a 14 percent chance), South must win the first trump in his hand and lead a diamond. If West takes the ace and leads a spade, South can ruff in dummy, lead a club to his hand, draw trumps and claim.

If West plays low on the diamond lead, dummy should play the king. West overcalled, and East has already shown an ace.

You hold: J 4 A K Q 10 9 7 3 A J 8 7. Your partner opens one diamond, you respond one heart and he next bids one spade. The opponents pass. What do you say?

A: To zoom into 3NT is premature: You don't know enough about your partner's hand to place the contract with assurance. He'd pass 3NT with A K 6 3, J 7 6, A Q 5 4 2, 4 or with K 7 6 5, J 7, A K Q 10 5 4, 6. Bid two clubs, a forcing bid in a new suit, and let him make another descriptive bid.

South dealer

N-S vulnerable

7 3
J 3
K J 8 5 4
K Q 5 2
K Q 10 8 6
A 10 9 6
10 6 4
A 9 5 2
8 7 6 5 4
Q 2
9 3
J 4
A K Q 10 9
7 3
A J 8 7
South West North East
1 1 Dbl2
3 Pass4 Pass
4 All Pass
Opening lead -- K