To end the work week, test your de­fense: Cover the West and South cards and try to beat four hearts. West leads a di­a­mond in def­er­ence to your open­ing bid: ten, jack, three. How do you con­tinue? (Hint: cor­rect de­fense beats the con­tract by two tricks.)

In real life, East shifted to the ace and five of trumps to pre­vent South from ruff­ing di­a­monds in dummy. South drew trumps and took the three top clubs, dis­card­ing a di­a­mond. He ruffed a club and re­turned to the ace of spades to pitch an­other di­a­mond on the good fifth club. He lost two di­a­monds and a trump.

Trump con­trol: East had the right idea — al­most. He needs to stop di­a­mond ruffs, but since the clubs are a threat, East mustn’t give up con­trol of the trump suit.

At Trick Two, East must lead the five of trumps. There is no es­cape for de­clarer. If, for in­stance, he takes three clubs to pitch a di­a­mond, West ruffs and leads his last trump, and East takes the ace — and two more di­a­monds.

Did you find the win­ning de­fense?

Daily ques­tion

You hold: ♠ AJ53 ♥ Q10 ♦ K10 ♣ A Q 10 8 3. You are the dealer. What is your open­ing call?

An­swer: An in­creas­ing ten­dency among some ex­perts is to open 1NT with im­per­fect hands — even hands with a sin­gle­ton honor that other­wise would be awk­ward to de­scribe. Some would open 1NT here though the pat­tern is not bal­anced. To open any­thing ex­cept one club would not oc­cur to me. If part­ner re­sponds in a red suit, a sec­ond bid of one spade is easy.

East dealer

Both sides vul­ner­a­ble

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