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Daily Bridge Club by Frank Stewart

“From now on, I’m underbidding against Minnie,” Cy the Cynic fumed. Minnie Bottoms wears old bifocals that make her mix up kings and jacks, often to her opponents’ cost. Cy has been Minnie’s chief victim.

Cy’s team had lost a match to Minnie’s glasses. When Cy was declarer at 3NT, Minnie led a spade: six, queen, king.

“I led the queen of diamonds next,” Cy told me, “and Minnie ‘covered’ with the jack -- thinking it was the king, of course.”

“You’re down if East gets in to return a spade,” I said. “I’d take the ace and finesse in clubs.”

“That’s what I did,” the Cynic said. “Minnie won and shifted to the deuce (!) of hearts: five, jack, king. After I ran the clubs, I led the ace and a third heart, hoping to end-play her. But East won, and down I went.”

“If Minnie plays the king on the first diamond,” I observed, “you can continue diamonds for 10 tricks.”

“Next time I’m passing North’s three diamonds,” Cy growled. “I don’t care whether it’s forcing or not.”

You hold: ´ K J 2 ™ K 10 8 © Q 3 ® A K J 6 5. Your partner opens one diamond, and the next player passes. What do you say?

A: This hand is worth about 18 points, so slam is possible if partner has a few extra values. Jump to three clubs, planning to bid 3NT next. You will show balanced pattern and mild slam interest. Many players would want more points to jump, but jump-shifts are most useful when they suggest slam and invite partner’s cooperation.

South dealer

N-S vulnerable

NORTH

´ 6

™ A 6 5

© A 10 9 8 7 2

® 8 4 3

WEST EAST

´ A 10 8 7 5 4 ´ Q 9 3

™ 3 2 ™ Q J 9 7 4

© K J © 6 5 4

® Q 7 2 ® 10 9

SOUTH

´ K J 2

™ K 10 8

© Q 3

® A K J 6 5

South West North East

1 NT 2 ´ 3 © Pass

3 NT All Pass

Opening lead – ´ 7

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