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Bridge: Aug. 29, 2023

Bridge: Aug. 29, 2023

I was in the club lounge with my friend the English professor when a player came in with today’s deal.

“My partner played at 3NT,” he said. “He won the first heart with the king, took the K-Q of clubs, led a club to the ace and conceded the fourth club to East’s jack. Partner won the heart return, took the good club and led a spade to his jack. The finesse won, but dummy had no more entries. Partner cashed the ace of spades and lost the rest. Down one.

“I said I thought partner’s play wasn’t best. He said it was a mute point.”

“A moot point,” the prof frowned.

“He said it was a mute point — as in, he didn’t want to talk about it.”

OVERTAKES

I can’t blame South for wanting to forget the deal. When West discards on the second high club, South must overtake with dummy’s ace. He finesses with the jack of spades and leads a third club.

East wins and returns a heart, but South wins in dummy, takes the good clubs and repeats the spade finesse to make his game.

DAILY QUESTION

You hold: S 8 4 H A 4 D Q 10 8 4 C A 10 9 5 2. After two passes, your partner opens one diamond, and you raise to three diamonds. Partner next bids three hearts. The opponents pass. What do you say?

ANSWER: Your hand couldn’t be much better. You have two side aces and possible ruffing features. To jump to five diamonds would be acceptable. In case partner is looking for slam, cue-bid four clubs. Even if he signs off at four diamonds, you will bid again.

South dealer

N-S vulnerable

NORTH

S 8 4

H A 4

D Q 10 8 4

C A 10 9 5 2

WEST

S 9 7 3

H Q J 10 9 3

D K 7 3 2

C 6

EAST

S K 10 6 2

H 8 5

D A J 6

C J 8 7 4

SOUTH

S A Q J 5

H K 7 6 2

D 9 5

C K Q 3

South West North East
1 NT Pass 3 NT All Pass
Opening lead — H Q

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