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Bridge: Sept. 14, 2023

Bridge: Sept. 14, 2023

A quote that seems applicable at bridge: “A smart man knows what to say; a wise man knows whether to say it.”

Today’s 3NT proved taxing. South won the first heart with the king and tried the K-J of diamonds. East played low, of course, and South next led a club to dummy’s queen.

East took the king and returned a heart, and West captured South’s ten and led a third heart. South then cashed three clubs, but when he finessed with the queen of spades for a ninth trick, West won and took two hearts. Down one.

“You booted it,” North growled.

CLUB FINESSE

Well, South could overtake the jack of diamonds with dummy’s queen and let the queen of clubs ride. He could guess to take a second club finesse — to switch to spades might have been right — then lead a spade to his queen. Eventually, he could set up his fourth spade.

The point is that North’s remark was gratuitous and unwise, especially since his raise to 3NT was questionable. Be supportive of your partner, not critical.

DAILY QUESTION

You hold: S A Q 4 3 H A K 10 D K J 6 C A 8 7. Both sides vulnerable. The dealer, at your right, opens three clubs. What do you say?

ANSWER: You must assume that your partner has a few points. Double. If he jumps to four of a major, fine. If he bids three spades, raise to four. If he bids a red suit at the three level, bid 3NT; he can insist on a suit contract if his hand is shapely. If you overcall 3NT directly, you may miss a superior major-suit contract.

South dealer

N-S vulnerable

NORTH

S 9 6 2

H 9

D Q 10 8 4 2

C Q J 10 4

WEST

S K 7 5

H J 8 6 4 3

D 9 5

C 5 3 2

EAST

S J 10 8

H Q 7 5 2

D A 7 3

C K 9 6

SOUTH

S A Q 4 3

H A K 10

D K J 6

C A 8 7

South West North East
2 NT Pass 3 NT All Pass
Opening lead — H 4

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