Aug. 29, 2022 – The Mercury News

“Your honor,” the District Attorney stated, “we will prove that South committed a felony. He lost a cold contract.”

“Proceed,” the judge instructed.

“Against three hearts,” the DA began, “West led the eight of diamonds. South took dummy’s ace, cashed the king of trumps and led a trump to his jack. West won and shifted to the ace and queen of spades. Declarer took dummy’s king, drew the missing trump and led another diamond. When East got in with the queen, he led a club, and West took the ace and cashed the jack of spades.”


“My client is innocent,” South’s counsel roared. “What if the positions of the red queens were reversed?”

“Guilty,” the judge ruled. “South must cash the K-A of trumps, gaining time, then take the king of diamonds and lead a third diamond. He sets up a spade discard on a diamond winner in dummy and loses only four tricks.

“And while you’re at it,” the judge added, “arrest West. He beats the contract by leading the ace and queen of spades.”


You hold: S K 8 3 H K 5 3 D A K 10 5 3 C K 6. The dealer, at your right, opens one club. You bid one diamond, the next player raises to two clubs and two passes follow. What do you say?

ANSWER: Your partner probably has a few points, and since the opponents have a trump fit, your side should have one somewhere. Double. Partner will bid a major suit or go to two diamonds. If the opponents push on to three clubs, you’ll have a better chance to go plus.

West dealer

N-S vulnerable


S K 8 3

H K 5 3

D A K 10 5 3

C K 6


S A Q J 9 4

H Q 9 6

D 8 2

C A 4 2


S 7 6

H 10 2

D Q 9 7

C Q 10 9 8 5 3


S 10 5 2

H A J 8 7 4

D J 6 4

C J 7

West North East South
1S 1NT Pass 2H
Pass 3H(!) All Pass
Opening lead — Choose it

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