The Star Early Edition - - TONIGHT -

Cy the Cynic says that find­ing fault is like wash­ing win­dows: All the dirt is on the other side. “We beat 3NT,” a club player told me, “no thanks to my part­ner’s de­fense.” West had led a di­a­mond: six, king, ace. South led the queen of spades, win­ning. He next led his deuce of clubs to dummy’s ace and re­turned the jack of spades. “My part­ner won,” I heard, “and led another club. South took the king and lost a spade to my ace. I re­turned a di­a­mond, and South took the queen and led another di­a­mond. When my part­ner won, he led a heart — fi­nally — and South won only eight tricks.” South dealer N-S vul­ner­a­ble You hold: Q A 7 3 A Q 9 4 2

Q J 6 2. Your part­ner opens one spade, your re­spond two di­a­monds and he bids two hearts. What do you say?

It would be easy to leap to 3NT, and that would be your best con­tract much of the time. But part­ner’s hand is not well de­fined, and he would pass 3NT with a hand such as A 10 6 5 4, K J 10 6 5, K, A 4 when six hearts would be a de­cent con­tract. Bid three clubs. You may have another chance to bid 3NT later.

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